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CAN'T SCARE ME, the Story of Mother Jones

May 5, 2011

The UMWA is sponsoring performances of a one-woman play titled Can’t Scare Me: The Story of Mother Jones, written and performed by Obie-award winning actress Kauilani Lee. The Washington Post critic Jane Horowitz wrote of the performance, “Lee makes the early miners’ and steelworkers’ strikes feel real and immediate, especially the murderous violence unleashed against unionized workers in the early 20th century.” 

"CAN'T SCARE ME, The Story of Mother Jones,” tells the moving story of Mary Harris “Mother” Jones and her activism to help organize a broad spectrum of American workers in the early 20th century. Written and performed by Kaiulani Lee, who transforms into the legendary labor activist, the drama illustrates Mother Jones’ fight for children and workers’ rights across the United States. The performance incorporates the loss of Jone...s’ husband and children from yellow fever; the great Chicago fire, out of which she emerged with her own fire to help organize the unorganized; the famous Children’s March to protest child labor; and the coal mine wars of southern Colorado and West Virginia. 

May 10 - Denver - Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center -

May 13 - Pueblo - El Pueblo History Museum - (719) 583-0453

May 15 - Colorado Springs - THEATREWORKS -


May 17 - Trinidad - Trinidad Junior High School - (303) 425-7110

For more information go to

A UMWA Treasure

October 6, 2010

Click here to view an inspiring oral history of 91-year old UMWA member Earl Brown, former Secretary-Treasurer of District 20.  Mr. Brown describes what life was like for coal miners and African-Americans in the last seventy years.  As the first African-American union officer in Alabama, his story is one of strength, determination and overcoming much to represent the members of our union. 

Pittsburgh runs on union coal!

September 9, 2010

The UMWA's large contingent at the annual Labor Day parade in Pittsburgh was joined by marchers from America's Power on Sept. 6 and talked about Clean Coal technology.

Click here to check out the video.

Standing up for mine safety in Richmond

May 19, 2010

On May 17 and 18, over 1,000 UMWA members, family members and supporters converged on Richmond, Va., the home of Massey Energy and site of the company's annual shareholder meeting. The issue: the tragic and continuing record of fatalities at Massey operations.

First up, a candlelight vigil remembering the 52 people killed on Massey property since 2000, including the 29 killed at the Upper Big Branch mine on April 5, 2010. As the names of the dead were read by Pres. Roberts, a miner turned out a cap light on their hard hat.

Photos below:


Candles at candlight vigil

Lighting the candles.

Miners walking

Miners with cap lamps approaching the ceremony.

Arlene Holt-Baker

AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt-Baker attended and raised her candle in memory to all those killed at Massey operations and in workplaces across America -- 14 every day.

Cecil Roberts at vigil

President Roberts read the names of the 52 people killed on Massey Energy property since 2000.

No change to health benefits for UMWA members, retirees after passage of health care bill

March 31, 2010

The passage of the health care bill by Congress in March "will not reduce or change any of the current health care benefits UMWA active members, retirees and their families receive," UMWA President Roberts said.

“And it will not mean a tax increase for UMWA members or their families, now or in the future," Roberts said. "Any excise taxes that our members’ benefits may be subject to won't become effective until 2018. If some portion of those benefits were to be subject to that tax at that time, it would be paid by the insurance providers, not individuals members.”

Click here to see for yourself what the health care bill will do.

UMWA officers inaugurated in Morgantown

October 13, 2009

The new international leadership of the UMWA was sworn into office at a ceremony in Morgantown, W. Va., on Oct. 7.

International President Cecil E. Roberts, International Secretary Treasurer Daniel J. Kane, three International At-Large Vice Presidents, six International District Vice Presidents and three International Auditor/Tellers received the oath of office at the event. They will serve a five-year term beginning Dec. 22, 2009.

The International officers are:

International President:                           Cecil E. Roberts
International Secretary-Treasurer             Daniel J. Kane
At-Large International Vice President         Don Barnett
At-Large International Vice President         Donnie Samms
At-Large International Vice President         James Gibbs
International District 2 Vice President         Ed Yankovich
International District 12 Vice President       Steve Earle
International District 17 Vice President       Joe Carter
International District 20 Vice President       Daryl Dewberry
International District 22 Vice President       Mike Dalpiaz
International District 31 Vice President       Mike Caputo
International Auditor/Teller (Canada)         Bob Burchell
International Auditor/Teller (East)              Jerry Stallard
International Auditor/Teller (West )            Roy Fernandez

Roberts taking the oath of officeSurrounded by friends and family, President Roberts takes the oath of office, administered by AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka.

Kane oathSecretary-Treasurer Kane is sworn in with his family at his side. 

IEBThe UMWA International officers. 

CER speechPresident Roberts delivers his inaugural address.

Follow the UMWA on Facebook and Twitter

October 10, 2009

Connecting with friends and family on Facebook? Are you "tweeting" on Twitter?

If so, you can follow the UMWA. Click here to join the UMWA Facebook page, and click here to follow the UMWA on Twitter.

Ludlow National Historic Landmark dedicated June 28.

June 16, 2009

More than 700 people attended the National Historic Landmark dedication ceremony marking the site of the 1914 Ludlow tent colony on June 28.

Speakers included UMWA President Cecil Roberts, Secretary-Treasurer Daniel Kane, Colo. State Rep. Buffie McFadyen, Colo. AFL-CIO Executive Director Mike Cerbo, Dr. James Green from the University of Massachusetts, Dr. Elizabeth Jamison from Calgary University, UMWA International District 22 Vice President Mike Dalpaiz and UMWA Region 4 Director Bob Butero. Colo. Gov. Bill Ritter read a proclamation.

 Click here to see a video of President Roberts' remarks


How Clean Coal can generate $1 trillion of economic output, create millions of jobs

February 17, 2009

Click here to see video highlights of a press conference with the UMWA, other unions and the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.

We discussed a new economic study that demonstrates how deployment of advanced coal-based electricity generation facilities
(power plants) equipped with carbon capture and storage (CCS)
technologies that reduce carbon dioxide emissions could generate $1 trillion of economic output and create 7
million man-years of employment.


Employee Free Choice Act Facts

January 6, 2009

The Employee Free Choice Act was introduced in Congress on March 10 by Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Rep. George Miller (D-Cal.). American working people are one step closer to true economic security through a free, fair and democratic process for forming a union where they work. 

Click here to see President Obama's recent comments in favor of the Employee Free Choice Act and the need to pass it soon. 

Click here to keep track of what's going on with the fight to restore American workers' right to organize. 

Although 60 million U.S. workers say they would join a union right now if they could, they are prevented from doing so by the threatening and intimidating tactics of their employers.

Here are the facts, according to a study by Cornell University:

  • 92 percent of private-sector employers, when faced with an organizing effort, force employees to attend closed-door meetings to hear anti-union propaganda;
  • 75 percent hire outside consultants to run anti-union campaigns;
  • Half threaten to shut down partially or totally if employees form a union;
  • In 25 percent of union organizing campaigns, employers illegally fire workers.
  • Even after workers successfully form a union, in one out of three cases, employers do not negotiate a contract.

That’s not a level playing field, and it hasn’t been for years. That’s why American workers need the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). The single most important piece of labor legislation in more than 70 years, it is vitally needed to restore to American workers the right to form unions.

And that is precisely why so many employers are scared of it. So scared, they’re willing to lie about what EFCA does:

Big Lie #1:    “EFCA will eliminate the secret ballot election in union organizing campaigns.” Wrong - the language in EFCA keeps the option of having a secret ballot election, except it puts the decision to have an election in the workers’ hands, not the bosses. Since it’s the workers who are deciding whether or not to form a union, shouldn’t they be the ones to make that decision?

Big Lie #2:    “EFCA will subject workers to intimidation from union organizers.” Wrong again - the only intimidation going on in the workplace today regarding union elections is on the side of employers threatening to close if a union is elected, or firing or disciplining employees for supporting a union.

You can bet the house that thousands of union-busting consultants are developing  strategies right now for defeating card-check organizing if EFCA passes. And part of that strategy will continue to be threats and intimidation about jobs and closing workplaces if a union is voted in.

Big Lie #3:    “Unions may have been good once, but workers don’t really need them anymore because of government wage and safety regulations, and besides, employers have become enlightened about how to treat their employees.” Wrong a third time. Just ask the coal miners at Sago or Crandall Canyon how well their employers followed government regulations or how enlightened their bosses were.

EFCA will restore workplace rights for millions of Americans by:

  • Allowing employees to form unions by signing cards authorizing union representation, or by holding a secret-ballot election should the workers–not the companies–choose to hold one.
  • Establishing stronger penalties for violation of employee rights when workers seek to form a union, and during first-contract negotiations.
  • Providing for mediation and arbitration of first-contract disputes.

Click here for more information about EFCA and how it will help American working families.


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