In the heart of the Canadian mining town of Hinton, one man stands out as a symbol of unwavering commitment to his trade and community. Brother Marlin Bennett, an active miner at the Hinton Mine and the embodiment of solidarity, recently celebrated an incredible milestone – receiving his 50-year membership pin from UMWA Local Union 1656.
Brother Bennett has spent the better part of his life mining coal, but his story is not only about his impressive half-century of mining; it’s about the commitment to safety and community that has been the cornerstone of his career.
For the past 25 years, Brother Bennett has been the safety chairman for UMWA Local Union 1656. It’s a role he takes with the utmost seriousness, knowing that the lives of his fellow miners depend on it.
Brother Bennett’s deep-seated dedication to safety is rooted in his upbringing. His father worked with the Department of National Defense and instilled in him, from a young age, the importance of looking out for one another and following stringent safety protocols.
This invaluable lesson has guided Marlin throughout his life, making him a steadfast advocate for safety in the perilous world of mining.
When asked about his motivation to work in the mine, Bennett said, “I wanted to be closer to home and provide for my family. But more importantly, I never once questioned joining a union. It’s a brotherhood that has my back, and I have theirs. We’re all in this together.”
UMWA Local Union 1656, to Brother Bennett, is not just an organization; it’s a way of life. “You know, these younger miners, they are really missing out by not being a part of the United Mine Workers. It is truly the best union in the world,” he said, with a sense of pride that only a half-century of experience can bring.
Brother Bennett’s 50-year membership pin is not just a symbol of time served; it’s a badge of honor, marking a lifetime dedicated to the well-being of his fellow miners and the resilience of UMWA Local Union 1656.