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UMWA endorses Edwards for President

date: 
September 3, 2007

The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) announced today that it is endorsing former Senator John Edwards (D-N.C.) for President of the United States.
 
"Senator Edwards' positions on the issues of importance to UMWA members make him the best fit for UMWA members of all the candidates for President," UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts said. "We are proud to support him and excited about the potential of an Edwards presidency for American working families.
 
"Senator Edwards believes, as we do, that the best way to rebuild America's middle class is to expand union membership, not shrink it," Roberts said. "He also believes, as we do, that the searing poverty that still grips many Americans is a stain on our great nation that must be eliminated.
 
"He also believes that the current state of mine safety oversight in America is a travesty that must be addressed right away," Roberts said. "We can be sure that under an Edwards administration, we will not have any more coal company executives put in charge of being the nation's top watchdog for mine safety and health. That can't come too soon for America's coal miners and their families.
 
"Senator Edwards also is the candidate with the most comprehensive and forward-thinking plan dealing with climate change, one that will significantly reduce carbon emissions while at the same time jump-start the development of new technologies that will allow the continued use of coal to power our nation," Roberts said. "America simply will not be able to compete economically on a global scale without the power of coal, and Senator Edwards recognizes and embraces that."
 
Roberts said that the UMWA's endorsement of Edwards will provide critical strength for the candidate, especially in the 2008 battleground states of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. "Those are among the handful of states where the election will be won next November, and the UMWA has consistently shown considerable ability to make an election day difference in states where our members live and work," Roberts said.
 
"We believe John Edwards' appeal to working families and his positions on the issues puts him ahead of the other candidates for President," Roberts said. "That is especially true of every one the Republican candidates in the race. They are all either as bad-or worse-than what we've already got in the current administration."
 
"Americans working families don't need four more years of the rich getting richer while the middle class loses ground," Roberts said. "We don't need four more years with 47 million Americans having no health care. We especially don't need four more years of callous disregard by employers and the government alike for the health and safety of American workers on the job, especially coal miners.
 
"We need a President who cares about ordinary working people instead of the richest Americans and the big multinational corporations," Roberts said. "We believe John Edwards is that person and we will work as hard as we know how on his behalf anywhere and everywhere we can."
 
 The UMWA joined with the United Steelworkers of America (USW) in a Labor Day rally in Pittsburgh to announce both unions' endorsement of Sen. Edwards. President Roberts and USW President Leo Gerard marched with the candidate's wife, Elizabeth Edwards, in the annual Labor Day parade through downtown Pittsburgh.
 
The UMWA is headquartered in Fairfax, Va., and represents 105,000 active and retired coal miners, municipal employees, health care workers and manufacturing workers in the United States and Canada. The UMWA represents more coal miners than any union in the world.

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