FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOVEMBER 26, 2021
UMWA mourns 51 killed in Russian mine
[TRIANGLE, VA.] In the aftermath of the terrible explosion that killed 51 miners and rescuers in Siberia, United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:
“The hearts and prayers of the entire UMWA family are with the families of those Russian miners and rescuers who were killed yesterday in a horrific methane explosion. No miner, anywhere in the world, should have to worry about whether or not they will be coming home at the end of their shift. But it appears that was exactly what these miners confronted.
“It is beyond tragic that these men died in a mine that had a history of safety violations yet received little more than a slap on the wrist from Russian authorities. It does not matter if it is Russia, China, India or the United States: Mine operators who routinely put workers at risk should be punished to the full extent of the law.
“That punishment will not bring these miners back and it will not end the pain their families will always feel. But if those who allowed this tragedy to occur are not held responsible for their actions, something like this will happen over and over again. For the sake of the thousands of miners who still toil in dangerous conditions in Russia, accountability must come.”