For you labor history buffs, Upworthy has a special treat. As part of the Workonomics series that examines the importance of collective action and economic policy that lifts working people and shines a light on inequality, labor history now has its own miniseries.
This Veterans Day, I’ll be thinking about a conversation I had with Cecil Roberts, president of the Mine Workers (UMWA), when he was in Paducah, Ky., for Labor Day. Roberts, a combat veteran of the Vietnam War, says it’s time for unions to take back two big issues the labor haters have hijacked from our movement: “The Bible and patriotism.”
You don't have to be a doctor at Johns Hopkins to know black lung disease when you see it. I know firsthand because I've seen it. I've seen it kill my father, my grandfathers and uncles. They were all coal miners who breathed coal dust for years until their scarred lungs could no longer work and they suffocated.
Last week, after nearly a year of protests, rallies, marches and court battles, the Mine Workers (UMWA) reached an agreement with Peabody Energy to cover future health care benefits for the retired coal miners affected by the bankruptcy of Patriot Coal. Patriot was spun off from Peabody in 2007 but saddled with the benefit obligations for former Peabody miners.
Today in The American Prospect, Harold Meyerson explores how the UMWA staged “a brilliant and innovative campaign that has ended in a stunning victory.”
After nearly a year of protests, rallies, marches and court battles demanding “Fairness at Patriot,” a settlement has been reached that will help cover future health care benefits for the retired coal miners affected by the bankruptcy of Patriot Coal.
Last week, we gave you a dozen examples of the vital work that locked-out federal employees are being prevented from doing, thanks to the irresponsible House Republican government shutdown now in its second week. Republican House leaders are still refusing to do the right thing and allow a vote on funding and reopening the government.
Here’s a look at six more of the jobs that shut-down workers—or those still on the job but not getting paid—perform and some of the key government services we all count on that are idled.
The Mine Workers (UMWA) will appeal a federal judge’s decision today to dismiss a class-action suit the union and a group of active and retired miners filed against Peabody Energy and Arch Coal in October. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Charleston, W.Va., charged that the companies had violated federal pension laws when they transferred the health and pension benefits of more than 10,000 active and retired miners to the newly created Patriot Coal Corp. in 2007 to avoid their obligations to the miners.