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UMWA traditional Labor Day celebration in Racine, W. Va. to feature music, entertainment, speakers and more

September 2, 2009
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The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) will hold its 71st annual Labor Day picnic and celebration in Racine, W. Va. on Monday, Sept. 7, from 11:30 am until 3:30 pm.

“We hold this event each and every year to celebrate working families and their contributions, past and present, to our nation and our communities,” UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts said. “We’re proud of our work, proud of our heritage, and proud of what we do to keep America running.”

Roberts noted that union members, and especially UMWA members and retirees, are the engine that drives the economies of communities throughout West Virginia and other states in the region. In addition to the taxes active members pay and their spending power in the local economy, pensions to UMWA retirees and health care expenses on their behalf run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

“In 2008, for example, more than $172 million in pensions were paid by the UMWA Health and Retirement Funds to UMWA retirees in West Virginia alone, and more than $222 million in health care costs were paid on their behalf,” Roberts said. “That’s nearly $400 million going directly into the state and local economy, being spent at local shops, stores, pharmacies, hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities.

“So we are going to celebrate that on Labor Day, celebrate the dignity of work and talk about the need to rebuild the rights of working people to have a voice on the job, safe and healthy workplaces, a secure retirement, and adequate health care for themselves and their families,” Roberts said. “That’s what Labor Day has always been about, and that’s what we will continue to celebrate this year and for years into the future.

“We welcome all those who wish to join us in that celebration,” Roberts said.

WHAT:    UMWA Labor Day Celebration and Picnic

WHEN:    Monday, Sept. 7, 11:30 am - 3:30 pm

WHERE:    John Slack Park, Racine, W. Va.

WHO:   Scheduled speakers include:
UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts
W. Va. Governor Joe Manchin
U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall
W. Va. Speaker of the House of Delegates Rick Thompson
W. Va. State Treasurer John Perdue
W. Va. Secretary of State Natalie Tennant
W. Va. AFL-CIO President Ken Perdue
Communications Workers of America Vice President Elaine Harris
Other local and state political and labor leaders

Scheduled entertainers include:

Mark Allen Thompson
Gordon Harmony Boys
Billy D. Mitchell
Summers Fork Bluegrass Boys
Elaine Purkey
Slap King

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