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Showing blog posts tagged with UMWA

New Song Tells the Story of Mine Workers Who Fought for Retiree Benefits at Patriot Coal

Phil Smith, director of communications for the Mine Workers (UMWA), sent us this music video this week by singer/songwriter Tom Breiding about the campaign to preserve jobs and health care benefits for miners and retirees of Patriot Coal.

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Roberts: Faith and Patriotism Are Union Values

Photo by Berry Craig

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.”

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You Won't Believe that Doctors Are Denying This Exists

Photo by TV19 - DD Meighen/Flickr

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.

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How Did the Mine Workers Take on Peabody and Bankruptcy and Win?

How Did the Mine Workers Take on Peabody and Bankruptcy and Win?

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.”

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Peabody, Patriot Settle with UMWA on Retiree Health Care

UMWA photo

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.

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Government Shutdown: 6 More Federal Jobs that Are Vital to America's Families

Photo by Rep. Keith Ellison/Flickr

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.

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UMWA to Appeal Peabody Suit Dismissal

Fairness at Patriot photo

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.  

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Mine Workers Continue Fight to Hold Peabody Energy and Arch Coal Accountable for Obligations

Mine Workers Continue Fight to Hold Peabody Energy and Arch Coal Accountable for Obligations

Members of the Mine Workers (UMWA) are rallying in St. Louis today, encircling the headquarters of Peabody Energy, as part of ongoing efforts to make the company and associated companies live up to the obligations they made to their workers. While the union reached an agreement with Patriot Coal to make sure that retired miners who primarily worked for Peabody receive those benefits, the long-term funding for those benefits has not yet been secured. Those health care costs were spun off into Patriot, which subsequently filed for bankruptcy. Today's rally is aimed at making Peabody live up to its obligations and fund health care for its retirees.

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Ludlow Massacre Centennial Commemoration Events Under Way

Colorado Coal Field War Project photo

One hundred years ago on Sunday, southern Colorado miners and their families walked out of the coal mines and mining camps striking for adequate wages, enforcement of state mining laws and union recognition. The strike led to a months-long struggle that culminated in one of the most tragic events in U.S. labor history, the April 20, 1914, Ludlow Massacre.

Yesterday, at the Ludlow Massacre memorial site near Trinidad, several hundred survivors’ descendants, Mine Workers (UMWA) members and officials, historians and others kicked off the centennial commemoration of the strike and massacre. 

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Reaching and Teaching Young Union Members

Photo by Berry Craig

How can we get more young members involved in the union?

I could have retired a lot sooner than I did if I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that lament from a graying labor leader in my neck of the western Kentucky woods.

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