Associate Membership Spotlight

Wilma Steele

The next UMWA Associate Membership Spotlight goes to Sister Wilma Steele. Wilma exemplifies dedication and commitment as a UMWA Associate Member and stands as a pillar of support alongside her husband, retired Local Union 1440 member Terry Steele.

Notably, Sister Wilma is a prominent founding board member of the esteemed West Virginia Mine Wars Museum. Her involvement in the ‘Save Blair Mountain’ project underscores her passion for preserving the rich heritage of the mining community. Her tireless efforts have been instrumental in safeguarding the legacy of miners and their struggles for justice.

“Sister Wilma is an active participant in Local Union 1440 meetings, where her insights and perspectives are highly valued,” said District 17 Vice President Brian Lacy.

Moreover, she finds fulfillment in offering engaging public tours at the museum, where she captivates audiences with her profound knowledge and unwavering dedication to honoring the miners’ history.

Beyond her contributions to the labor movement, Sister Wilma boasts a distinguished career as a retired Mingo County educator. Through her teachings, she has never wavered in her commitment to educating others about the hardships miners face and the significance of their journey toward unionization.

Sister Wilma Steele embodies the spirit of solidarity and activism, leaving an indelible mark on the UMWA community and beyond. Her unwavering dedication to preserving history and advocating for miners’ rights serves as an inspiration to all.

 

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Day of Mourning Service in Estevan, a Chance to Reflect

Source: SaskToday

April 29, 2024

Candles were lit in honour of those who died from workplace-related incidents and illnesses.

ESTEVAN – The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) Local 7606 once again organized a Day of Mourning Service at the Estevan Coal Car on April 28.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) No. 2067 joined UMWA members to honour those who have died or been injured for workplace-related reasons. Darcy Wright from the IBEW read the names from the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board’s fatality and claim acceptance list for the past year, and UMWA members lit candles in memory of those who died.

A total of 29 names were on this year’s list. Motor vehicle collisions accounted for nine of the deaths. Asbestos exposure (five), heart attacks (four) and cancer among firefighters (three) were other leading causes of fatalities.

“We are here once more to honour those that have fallen in their line of work or because of their work,” said Wright.

It’s also important to be mindful of those who were injured or maimed and might not be able to continue on with their employment.

“We will remember what has happened in our workplaces in the future,” said Wright.

April 28 is the International Day of Mourning. It is observed each year to remember those who have lost their lives, suffered injury or illness on the job, or experienced a work-related tragedy.

 

 

After strike, mine workers union pushes reform proposals before Warrior Met Coal stockholders

SOURCE: AL.COM

April 25, 2024

After strike, mine workers union pushes reform proposals before Warrior Met Coal stockholders

The United Mine Workers of America, along with the AFL-CIO, presented stockholders of Warrior Met Coal Thursday with a package of proposals it says would eliminate some of the conditions that resulted in Alabama’s longest strike.

Warrior Met Coal held its shareholders meeting today and voted on several measures. Results will be announced later.

UMWA International President Cecil Roberts told the meeting that, if the company had been able to maintain its pre-strike, pre-COVID production levels, it would have made $1.3 billion in additional revenue.

“As we meet here today, Warrior Met’s mine workers are 2,000 feet underground, performing skilled and dangerous labor, to provide for their families, their communities and the stockholders of the company,” Roberts said. “They deserve competitive wages and benefits for their hard work, and yet Warrior Met has still not reached an agreement with the mine workers.”

The UMWA’s members conducted a strike against Warrior Met between April 1, 2021, and February 16, 2023, when the union issued an unconditional return to work. The union and company are continuing to negotiate a new contract, after the old one expired three years ago.

Last year, an NLRB Administrative Law Judge found that Warrior Met had engaged in unfair labor practices in contract negotiations leading up to the strike.

The union estimates the company incurred a little less than $100 million in idle mine and business interruption expenses associated with the strike, all at a time when the price of metallurgical coal surged globally.

Among the proposed policies, all of which would be non-binding and advisory, are a requirement for stockholder approval of “golden parachutes” for executive severance, and an independent assessment of the company’s “respect” for workers’ rights and collective bargaining.

Other reforms include a policy requiring stockholder approval of “poison pill” provisions to discourage acquisitions, and stockholder approval of “blank check” preferred stock for antitakeover purposes. The policy would also include a “proxy access” bylaw provision.

The union says these provisions would keep executives from being insulated from the economic results of some decisions.

In February, the company’s board of directors adopted new limits on its executive severance benefits. However, Roberts said this measure is inadequate, as it applies only to cash severance.

“Let me be clear, no union ever wants to go on strike. Our members went on strike because we believe the company was not negotiating in good faith,” Roberts said. “We believe that Warrior Met will be a more successful company if it negotiates in good faith to reach a mutually beneficial collective bargaining agreement with the UMWA.”

Written By:

Associate Membership Spotlight

Phylis Mooney

 

Sister Mooney’s commitment to the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) spans over a decade, making her a steadfast and dedicated Associate Member. Her invaluable contributions to the union are rooted in her extensive service as the retired International District 17 Secretary, where she served for many years at the Chapmanville Office. This wealth of experience underscores her deep understanding of the union’s intricacies and her unwavering dedication to its mission.

“Phyllis truly cares about the UMWA and the members,” said International District 17 Vice President Brian Lacy. “Even in times of facing serious medical issues in the past, Sister Phyllis attended as many UMWA and District 17 events as she possibly could. That is true dedication.” Her resilience and determination in the face of adversity showcase her true dedication to the union and its principles.

Sister Mooney is a true community stalwart. In her leisure time, she selflessly volunteers in District 17, contributing to the betterment of the community and strengthening the bonds within the union. Additionally, her involvement in her local church reflects her commitment to both spiritual and community well-being.

A unique aspect of Sister Mooney’s character is her creative and caring nature. Devoting her free time to knitting beautiful pieces, she extends her warmth and generosity to friends and family. This artistic expression not only showcases her talents but also adds a personal touch to the relationships she nurtures.

Sister Mooney emerges as a dedicated and multifaceted individual, embodying the spirit of service within the UMWA. Her extensive experience, resilience in the face of challenges, and active involvement in both union and community activities make her a revered figure. Sister Mooney’s story is one of true dedication, compassion, and a commitment to making a positive impact on those around her.

 

Black Lung Screenings in Your Area

Attention Coal Miners!

 

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will offer black lung screenings at no cost to you in your area. The screenings help to detect black lung disease and will be provided through our mobile testing unit. We encourage all coal miners (current, former, surface underground, and contract) to participate.

Screenings take approximately 30 minutes and include:

  • A health questionnaire
  • A chest X-ray
  • Blood pressure screening
  • A breathing test (spirometry)

By law, screening results are confidential. NIOSH will provide each coal miner with their results. We will send you your results through the mail approximately 8-10 weeks from your appointment.

Call 1-888-480-4042 or email cwhsp@cdc.gov to schedule an appointment. While walk-ins are welcome, we recommend scheduling your appointment to ensure a date and time that works best for you.

 

2024 CWHSP Black Lung Schedule Flyer
 
For questions or more information:
888-480-4042 | cwhsp@cdc.gov | NIOSH Facebook | @NIOSH Twitter

City of Nitro Holds Event to Honor Vietnam War Veterans

Source: WVMetroNews

March 31, 2024

 

NITRO, W.Va. — The West Virginia Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America honored U.S. military servicemen and women during an event Saturday in Nitro.

Cecil Roberts, international president of the United Mine Workers of America, was the keynote speaker. Roberts, a Vietnam War veteran, spoke about the importance of honoring veterans for serving their country.

“Those 58,000 plus soldiers on that wall, they died heroes and their families paid the ultimate sacrifice. We know there was a time where Vietnam vets weren’t treated the best but now, I think people are making a 100 percent effort here to rectify that,” Roberts said.

The city of Nitro is the home of the West Virginia Vietnam War Memorial, located in the nearby Nitro History & Wars Museum. Roberts said it’s appropriate to have the memorial in Nitro where veterans are respected.

“I think something like this memorial needs to be here because the people in this city want it here. They will honor it, they will protect it and they will see that it’s taken care of,” he said.

The event featured several speakers throughout the day. Representatives from the West Virginia Veterans Administration were also on hand to answer eligibility and benefit questions from veterans attending the event.

Roberts shared a personal story from his family.

“One of my favorite pictures in our family is a picture of my dad, his brother Arnold, and his brother Willard in their Navy uniforms going off to World War II hanging in what used to be my mother’s home, which is now my sister’s home,” he said. “That’s a picture I’m so proud of.”

Saturday’s event took place in the Nitro Living Memorial Park.