UMWA’s Concerns on U.S. Coalition Move Against Coal Plants: Calls for Job Security Measures


DECEMBER 4, 2023


UMWA’s Concerns on U.S. Coalition Move Against Coal Plants: Calls for Job Security Measures

[TRIANGLE, VA] In response to John Kerry, special presidential envoy on climate matters’, announcement on the United States officially joining a coalition to end all new and current coal-fired power plants, Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:

“The UMWA is fully committed to an environmentally responsible future that does not leave our members, their families, and communities behind. However, we cannot overlook the very real and immediate impact that such decisions have on the hardworking men and women in the coal industry and the communities that depend on it.

“Ambassador Kerry states that this initiative will ‘build stronger economies and more resilient communities, however, the administration has thus far not moved any concrete proposals for replacing the thousands of jobs that will be lost in the coal sector. To our knowledge, not one dislocated coal miner has yet been hired to work in the new energy sector. 

“Promises have been made about not leaving anyone behind, but promises do not put food on the table or provide job security for our members. Hundreds of thousands in the coalfields have already lost their jobs in the last decade. The GEM report estimates a staggering loss of over 15,000 jobs in the coal sector per decade in the 2030s and 2040s. This announcement simply adds more heartache on top of the economic devastation that has already occurred.

“UMWA members and their families have for generations contributed to the growth and prosperity of our nation, and their livelihoods should not be simply tossed aside by promises made half a world away.

“The administration needs to step up its game and take real, concrete measures to immediately invest in retraining programs, education initiatives, and the development of new industries in coal-dependent regions. We will not stand quietly by while our members and their communities become stranded without viable alternatives.”


UMWA Fights to Keep Charleston Jobs: Say No to USPS Relocation


DECEMBER 1, 2023


UMWA Fights to Keep Charleston Jobs: Say No to USPS Relocation


[TRIANGLE, VA] In response to a U.S. Postal Service proposal to move mail processing operations from a Charleston, West Virginia facility, United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:

“West Virginia has long been at the forefront of challenges, particularly in the wake of coal-fired power plant closures, leaving our people grappling with economic uncertainty. The resilience of our fellow West Virginians in the face of adversity is commendable, but the last thing our state needs is yet another blow to our workforce.

“The proposed relocation of USPS mail processing operations, and the loss of approximately 800 jobs, would undoubtedly intensify the economic struggles faced by our community. These jobs are not just numbers; they represent the livelihoods of hardworking individuals who have dedicated themselves to providing essential services. We must not turn a blind eye to the impact this decision would have on families who already struggle with the repercussions of the coal industry downturn.

“It is imperative that we prioritize the well-being of our citizens and the vitality of our communities over short-term cost-cutting measures. West Virginians have always risen to the occasion, showing strength and unity in times of hardship, and I believe we can do so again.

“We need to consider the ramifications of this decision and explore alternative solutions that safeguard our local economy and protect the livelihoods of our people.”


UMWA Responds to Closing of RemArms LLC Ilion Plant




NOVEMBER 30, 2023


UMWA Responds to Closing of RemArms LLC Ilion Plant

[TRIANGLE, VA] Commenting on the notice from RemArms, LLC, that it intends to close its Ilion, NY plant, United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:

“It is extremely disappointing to hear that RemArms LLC is closing its Ilion plant. The workers in Ilion enabled RemArms to rise from the ashes of the Remington Arms bankruptcy in 2020-21. Without these workers and their dedication to producing the best firearms in the world, this company simply would not exist.

“Our members, the community, local political leaders, and the UMWA worked tirelessly to keep this facility open and to return the workers to the jobs they have had for over 100 years. The RemArms Ilion plant is the birthplace of America’s oldest gunmaker, which first started making guns there in 1816.

“This announcement by the company is a slap in the face to all of them. The timing adds insult to injury for those affected. Merry Christmas from RemArms

“The simple fact is that RemArms will never be able to match the experience and dedication of the workers in Central New York, who for generations worked in this plant and kept this company alive.

“We urge RemArms LLC to reconsider this decision and explore alternative solutions that would allow the Ilion plant to remain operational. The extensive cleanup for abandoning this plant could potentially cost the town of Ilion and the state of New York a massive amount of money.

“As the affected workers and their families face an uncertain future, the UMWA rallies behind them, offering support and solidarity. The UMWA is committed to exploring all legal avenues to keep these union jobs where they belong, in Ilion, New York. Together, we will continue to fight for justice and the preservation of their jobs.”


UMWA Welcomes Logan County Commission Office Staff as Newest Members


NOVEMBER 17, 2023


UMWA Welcomes Logan County Commission Office Staff as Newest Members


[TRIANGLE, V.A.] The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) announced today that the staff at the Logan County Commission Office voted to be represented by the UMWA yesterday.

“I want to welcome the newest members of the UMWA and congratulate them for their decision to join our union,” said International President Cecil E. Roberts. “Their decision places them on a path toward enhanced job security and the fair representation they deserve on the job.”

With its long-standing commitment to advocating for workers’ rights and well-being, the UMWA brings its extensive experience and expertise to negotiate fair wages, safe working conditions, and comprehensive benefits for its members.

The Logan County Commission Office staff’s decision to join the UMWA demonstrates their trust in the union’s ability to advocate for their best interests. By aligning themselves with the UMWA, these workers gain access to a powerful network of support and resources, ensuring their voices are heard and their concerns addressed.

The Logan County employees join a growing number of other public employees across West Virginia and the nation as Mine Workers members. 

UMWA Statement on Manchin’s Decision to Not Run for U.S. Senate



NOVEMBER 10, 2023


United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:

“While we are disappointed that Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will not seek re-election for the U.S. Senate, we will forever remember his fierce determination to ensure our government kept its promise to tens of thousands of retired miners and widows by securing the pensions and health care they earned in sweat and blood.

“His unwavering commitment to keeping miners safe at work led to the passage of crucial mine safety laws in West Virginia in the wake of the Sago and Upper Big Branch disasters, and his work to secure consistent funding for the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund means that those who suffer from that incurable disease will get some small measure of comfort in their final days.

“His decision is not only a loss for our union, but for all of West Virginia. Joe Manchin’s dedication to the people of his state has been unwavering throughout his career, and his absence will undoubtedly be felt.

“I would also note that I think he could win re-election. People should remember that despite facing an opponent endorsed by the previous president in the last election, Senator Manchin won. West Virginians knew Joe, and they saw he was the best candidate to represent them. I believe they still do.”

“The UMWA extends its best wishes to our friend Joe Manchin and his wife, Gayle, as they embark on their future endeavors.”


UMWA Career Centers Receives $750,000 in Foundation Funding to Train Dislocated Miners


OCTOBER 20, 2023


UMWA Career Centers Receives $750,000 in Foundation Funding to Train Dislocated Miners

[RUFF CREEK, PA.] The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) announced today that the UMWA Career Centers, Inc. (UMWACC), has received commitments from several foundations that will unlock a federal Build Back Better grant enabling the UMWACC to recruit and train more than 500 dislocated miners and others in southwestern Pennsylvania for jobs in the robotics industry.

“This is a critical first step in rebuilding coalfield communities by providing training for those who have been impacted by the closure of coal mines,” UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts said. “This training can provide a pathway to high-quality jobs and a career in a new and growing industry, and can replace the income and benefits miners and their families lost over the last several years when their mines closed.

“This would not have happened without the active support of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm,” Roberts said. “She committed to working with us to help provide resources for the UMWACC facility in Ruff Creek and never wavered in that commitment. I also want to thank Assistant to the President John Podesta, who worked tirelessly to get this over the finish line.

“We appreciate very much the commitments made by the Heinz Endowments, the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, the Just Transition Fund and the Climate Jobs National Resource Center to provide $750,000 in matching funds to the UMWACC,” Roberts said. “These matching funds unlock $2.9 million in federal funding over the next three years for this training, and it could not come at a more critical time.  

“I also want to thank Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) for his commitment to the UMWACC,” Roberts said. “He has worked for years to ensure that the Career Centers continues to be the premier training center for dislocated miners and their families in the United States.”

“There remains an incredible amount of work to do to meet the need for good-paying union jobs for those who have been and will be impacted by the ongoing energy transition,” Roberts said. “We appreciate all those who contributed to making this happen today, but we cannot forget that we have by no means come close to addressing the larger issues here.”

The UMWACC was established in 1996 and has trained more than 19,000 dislocated miners and spouses, placing them into careers ranging from health care to heavy equipment operators to engineering. Changes in the way federal job retraining funds are allocated have hampered the ability of the UMWACC and other private nonprofit training centers to receive federal grants. The UMWACC was on the verge of closing the doors of its state-of-the-art facility in Ruff Creek because it could not receive the Build Back Better grant until the matching funds were secured.



United Mine Workers endorses Casey for re-election in Pennsylvania


SEPTEMBER 28, 2023

United Mine Workers endorses Casey for re-election in Pennsylvania

[UNIONTOWN, PA.] The National Council of the United Mine Workers of America Coal Miners Political Action Committee (COMPAC) has endorsed Bob Casey for re-election to the United States Senate, the union announced today.

            “We are proud to endorse a strong leader who has been a friend of coal miners his entire career,” said UMWA President Cecil E. Roberts. “Bob Casey’s roots are in coal country in eastern Pennsylvania. His heart has always been with miners, their families and their communities.

            “Senator Casey was a fierce advocate for preserving our retirees’ health care and pensions, and because of his leadership tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians have those benefits today,” Roberts said. “There are many, many people who are alive today because he took on that fight and won. We can never thank him enough for that.”

            Senator Casey has also been a leader in the fight to improve health and safety conditions in America’s mines, especially with respect to eliminating the scourge of Black Lung for future miners and improving the ability of those who have the disease to get the benefits they deserve. “Senator Casey has held hearings, he has introduced legislation, he has stood on the floor of the Senate and advocated to keep miners safer and healthier at work. We could not ask for a better advocate for our members, both active and retired.”

The National Council acted upon the recommendation of the union’s Pennsylvania State COMPAC Committee. “Endorsements come from the bottom up in our union,” Roberts said. “This is a reflection of the strong support our members in Pennsylvania have for Senator Casey. They are ready to get out and work for his re-election, and that’s exactly what we will do.”


UMWA mourns passing of USW President Conway

SEPTEMBER 25, 2023

[TRIANGLE, VA.] United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:

“The prayers of the entire UMWA family are with the family and co-workers of our Brother, United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway, who passed away today.

“Tom was my friend. I served on the AFL-CIO Executive Council with Tom and he was an inspirational leader who was always in the forefront of the fight to better workers’ lives. He was an organizer, a negotiator, and in many ways a trailblazer who cared about his union, its members and their families.

“Our heartfelt condolences go to our brothers and sisters at the USW for their loss. Our hearts are with them on this dark day.”

Michael Bloomberg takes dead aim at coal miners, families and communities

SEPTEMBER 22, 2023


[TRIANGLE, VA.] Commenting on the announcement that Michael Bloomberg is donating $500 million to fund a campaign to prematurely close every coal-fired power plant in the United States, United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:


            “Michael Bloomberg has coal miners, their families and their communities in his sights once again. Not satisfied to have killed tens of thousands of their jobs in the last decade, devastating families and communities throughout America’s coalfields, he and the environmental groups who do the actual dirty work for him have decided the time has come to wipe them all out for good.


            “The United States and much of the world are in an energy transition, the devastating cost of which is placed squarely on the backs of traditional energy workers and their families. The UMWA has proposed ways to accomplish a true transition that changes that dynamic and does not leave these workers behind.


“We have worked with responsible parties inside and outside of government in an effort to move forward while protecting our members, their families and their communities. They agree with us that there will be no justice in this transition unless workers and their families are put first.


            “But Mr. Bloomberg’s announcement makes no mention of what will happen to the workers and their families. It makes no mention of the devastation he has already brought to Appalachia and elsewhere, which he is now doubling down on. He makes no provision to help workers by providing training opportunities or incentives for new job creation in the coalfields.


            “That comes as no surprise, because he has never respected workers or their families in his entire career. But he, and the organizations he is funding, can rest assured that we and our allies inside and outside the labor movement will fight back. We do not have $500 million to throw around, but we do have the faces and voices of hard-working American families whose lives and livelihoods are at even greater risk today.”

Tommy Tuberville is putting American soldiers at risk

By: Cecil E. Roberts, International President, United Mine Workers of America and Chairman of the Union Veterans Council, AFL-CIO

When I was serving ten miles from the DMZ in Vietnam in 1968, it would not have occurred to me that a politician could single-handedly chop off the head of my chain of command. But that is exactly what Sen. Tommy Tuberville is doing. His actions to deny promotions to more than 250 generals, admirals and other top officers in our nation’s military are putting our armed forces at risk. And it is getting worse by the day.

Heads of services have not been confirmed. Brigadier and Lieutenant Generals remain in limbo. The Marine Corps has no Commandant. If our forces in Europe or in the South Pacific had to suddenly engage an enemy, hundreds of officers who would normally be making critical operational and logistical decisions would not be in place. Sen. Tuberville’s reckless actions would put tens of thousands of troops and sailors at an immediate disadvantage if the conflict was to come their way.

Our nation is not currently involved in large-scale hostile action today, and we should all be thankful for that. I have been in war. I have been shot at, and I have shot back. My prayer is that our nation’s young men and women never have to find themselves in that position ever again.

But if they do, they need to be ready. And without a functioning chain of command, the readiness of our armed forces is severely degraded. At a time when war is raging in Europe for the first time in nearly 80 years – a war that could rapidly spiral into a wider conflict – Sen. Tuberville’s actions put every soldier, every airman, every Marine, and every sailor at greater peril should they be called upon to defend our allies and our nation.

But of course, Sen. Tuberville has no idea about how our military works. He never came close to putting on our nation’s uniform. He does not understand what “chain of command” means in an army or navy. All he understands is that he has a unique power and he is going to use it, even though no Senator has ever used this power to put our nation’s security at risk.

I understand that Sen. Tuberville is acting in protest of an issue that he strongly believes should be addressed. I do not begrudge him his beliefs. But there are ways to make that point without putting our nation – and those who defend it – in a weaker position.

The notion that one person, elected by the people of just one state, can have the power to hold hostage our entire military and its chain of command is outrageous. The Senate must put an end to this charade and take steps to see that it can never happen again.

I still remember what it was like going out on night patrols from our position on top of a hill outside Da Nang, and wondering if my platoon would get back the next morning. I thank God there weren’t Senators like Tommy Tuberville around then. We may not have.

Cecil Edward Roberts, Jr., a sixth-generation coal miner and Vietnam Veteran, became President of the United Mine Workers (UMWA) of America on October 22, 1995, having served as Vice President of the union since December 1982.