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UMWA congratulates Sen. Byrd on becoming longest serving member of Congress

November 18, 2009
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United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:

    “For nearly 57 years, Sen. Robert C. Byrd has represented the people of West Virginia with the kind of courage, conviction and strength rarely seen in the history of American politics. His stature in Congress ranks with the finest legislators our nation has ever produced. That is not only due to his tenure as the longest-serving member of Congress in the history of our nation, but even more so to his immense skills as a legislator, orator and leader.

    “He has been, and remains, the best friend coal miners and their families have ever had in Congress. From continually fighting for better health and safety in America’s mines to ensuring that our nation kept its promise of health care to retired miners and their widows, Sen. Byrd’s eloquent voice and masterful legislative skills have meant that millions of miners and their families have had a better, more secure life during his tenure in Washington.

    “One doesn’t have to travel very far anywhere in West Virginia to see specific and concrete examples of Sen. Byrd’s dedication to our state. Indeed, the reason one can travel with ease at all in many parts of West Virginia is due to Sen. Byrd’s efforts to improve the transportation network throughout the state.

    “It is no stretch at all to say that the lives of all West Virginian have been improved because we had the good sense to send Robert C. Byrd to Washington to fight for us for the last 57 years. I look forward to continuing to work with him as we struggle to meet the many challenges that face UMWA members and all West Virginians today. With Sen. Byrd on our side, we will prevail.”

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