UMWA Condemns Budget Provision Blocking Silica Rule Funding


JUNE 28, 2024


UMWA Condemns Budget Provision Blocking Silica Rule Funding

[TRIANGLE, VA] Responding to a provision passed by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies in its annual budget report that blocks all funding for the recent Silica Rule released by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:

“MSHA’s silica standard aims to reduce the amount of deadly silica dust in mine atmospheres, which is crucial for combating the worsening epidemic of black lung disease. It is difficult for me to understand how certain members of Congress could possibly be supportive of more miners dying a suffocating death as a result of being forced to breathe this dust.

“Subcommittee Chair Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) represents a district with a significant number of coal mines and thousands of coal miners. This would indicate that he is prioritizing industry profits over the health and safety of the very workers he was elected to represent. The miners in his district, many of whom already suffer from black lung disease, deserve better than this. I can only conclude that Aderholt is telling his constituents that their lives and health are of no concern to him.

“These actions are a direct attack on the health and safety of coal miners. The epidemic of black lung disease is a critical issue that demands immediate action. I call on all members of Congress to reject this dangerous provision and stand up for the rights and health of miners.

“The UMWA urges the public and all labor advocates to speak out against this outrage. It is imperative that we protect those who risk their lives every day to provide the energy that powers our nation. Sacrificing their health for any reason is not only morally reprehensible, but it also undermines the principles of fairness and justice that our country stands for.”