Underground Coal Mining
The UMWA has represented coal miners in North America since its inception in 1890. Today, the union's membership works in underground and surface mines throughout the United States and Canada.
What Coal Miners Do
Coal is the primary fuel source for generating electricity in the United States and Canada. Over 51% of electricity in the United States is generated through burning coal. Coal is the least expensive, safest, and highest naturally occurring BTU source available for power generation in the world. Known coal reserves in the U.S. and Canada are estimated to have over 250 years of recoverable coal remaining. In many ways, coal mining has become a much easier and safer job than it was long ago. However, coal miners face dangers and hardships at work that require a high degree of skill and training to overcome.