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UMWA asks Solis, Main to hold public investigation into Upper Big Branch disaster

date: 
April 29, 2010
For immediate release?: 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TRIANGLE, VA – United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts sent a letter yesterday to Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Joe Main, saying that “we strongly believe a free and open hearing process is the best way to conduct all aspects of this investigation.”

“An open investigation will allow the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to subpoena witnesses, and we believe that will be critical to getting to the truth,” Roberts said today. “There is no doubt in my mind that some people who can provide critical information in this investigation are going to have to be compelled to do so.

“Additionally, there are 29 grieving families who we believe have a right to the same information about what happened as any government investigator,” Roberts said. “They shouldn’t have to wait the year or more it’s going to take to get a report written before they get that information.”

“This is the worst mine disaster in 40 years,” Roberts said. “The families and the public have a right to know what happened, who is responsible, and what is going to be done. The only way that can be accomplished fully is for the investigation be open and for all parties to be full participants in all aspects of the process.”

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Click here for letter.

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