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UMWA statement on Obama intention to nominate Joe Main to be Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health

date: 
July 6, 2009
For immediate release?: 
 

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

    “The UMWA is extremely pleased that President Obama has announced his intention to nominate Joe Main to be Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health. Joe is perhaps the most knowledgeable person about mine safety and health in the nation, and his experience was gained where it counts the most – fighting every day for over 30 years on behalf of  miners’ health and safety, including 22 years as the Administrator of Occupational Health and Safety for the UMWA.

    “Joe has his work cut out for him. The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has not lived up to its mandate from Congress to vigorously enforce mine health and safety laws and regulations the last eight years. The previous administration put mine production and company profitability ahead of miner safety. Fortunately, President Obama has sent a clear and consistent message that health and safety comes first in his administration.

    “We look forward to working with Joe and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis to reverse the years of decline in both labor law and health and safety enforcement that occurred at the Department of Labor and MSHA under the previous administration. The corresponding denial of workplace rights and on-the-job dangers American workers were subjected to as a result are a stain on our nation’s legacy that must be cleansed.”

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