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UMWA Ready for Fight

Source: WV Metro News

The rank and file of the United Mine Workers Union will be out in full force Thursday to let Peabody Energy know they won't be intimidated.

The union claims employees who work for Peabody around the country say they've been intimidated while trying to join the UMWA. Union spokesman Phil Smith says, "We've been contacted from Peabody employees from all over the country about wanting to form a union and wanting to do so without fear of intimidation or threats. We want to make sure that message carries loud and clear to Peabody.

" That's why the union is holding a rally called "The Fight Starts Now" Thursday afternoon in the Boone County town of Wharton. They're expecting anywhere from 1,500-2,000 people to attend. Miners are busing in for the event from all over the state. But they'll also get support from members of the union from surrounding states.

Peabody owns two mines in the Wharton area, one is unionized, and the other is not but UMWA says workers there want union representation. Smith says at first it was a contentious issue in the community, but people are starting to change their minds. "We've been getting a lot more support over the last several months. Many more people are signing our petitions, signing our cards and welcoming us into their homes. And they're asking us to come."

On the list of speakers for Thursday’s event include UMWA President Cecil Roberts, the president of the West Virginia AFL-CIO Kenny Perdue and former state AFL-CIO head Jim Bowen.

Peabody is the world's largest coal company. In 2005, the company unearthed 240 million tons of coal and sold it for $4.6 billion.


City and County governments continue to back Peabody miners right to organize

Source: Justice at Peabody

Booneville City Council backs union campaign at Peabody (06/07/2006 09:23)
Boonville City Council backs Peabody Energy miners' right to form a unionBoonville, IN – The Boonville City Council unanimously passed a resolution supporting the area’s non-union Peabody Energy coal miners’ right to organize a union. The resolution passed by a unanimous vote of 4-0 on June 1.“I am strong supporter of the resolution. I came from a family of coalminers and a life long member of the IBEW and the Steelworkers Local 104,” said city council member Bob Canada. (
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Evansville Courier & Press: Boonville City Council backs union campaign at Peabody

The Boonville City Council is officially supporting a union campaign to persuade coal industry giant Peabody Energy not to interfere with attempts of its employees to form a union.The United Mine Workers and the AFL-CIO joined forces to mount the campaign in 2004 in response to what they have termed as a groundswell of support from workers wanting better benefits and working conditions as the corporation continues to grow. (
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Nortonville City Council backs Peabody Energy miners' right to form a union (06/06/2006 12:31)
Nortonville City Council backs Peabody Energy miners' right to form a union Nortonville, KY - The Nortonville City Council unanimously passed a resolution supporting the area’s non-union Peabody Energy coal miners’ right to organize a union. The resolution passed by a vote of 5-0 on June 5.

“This resolution simply states that if Peabody Energy wants to mine coal in our community they must respect workers’ rights,” said Nortonville Mayor James Noel. “We expect every company that does business in our community to be a good corporate citizen.”

The resolution states that Peabody Energy Corp., the world’s largest private sector coal company, should allow its employees to choose freely whether to unionize. The resolution requests that Peabody remain neutral and not resort to the use of pressure tactics, such as mandatory meetings on unionization, threats to close the mine, or any other form of interference or intimidation. The resolution also requests that Peabody agree to an expedited and fair process by which the employees can make a decision about unionization.A copy of the passed resolution will be sent to Peabody Energy’s CEO Greg Boyce.

Danville, Illinois Township Board of Trustees passes town resolution supporting the area’s Peabody non-union coal miners’ right to organize

Visit http://www.justiceatpeabody.org/for more information.


Peabody Miners Fighting for a Union

Source: AFL-CIO Now Blog

Tired of being forced to work overtime every week and getting precious little in return, nonunion coal miners who work for Peabody Energy, the world’s largest coal company, have joined together with the AFL-CIO, the Mine Workers, community religious leaders and miners in Australia to say, “Enough! We want a union.”

Peabody has systematically closed its union mines and replaced production with nonunion mines over the past 15 years, says Bob Gaydos, UMWA’s assistant organizing director. Today, only 40 percent of Peabody’s miners worldwide are union members, he says, down from about 70 percent in the 1990s.

For the past couple of years, the UMWA has responded to the requests of hundreds of nonunion miners at Peabody’s facilities across the country for assistance in organizing unions. In December 2005, the workers launched the Justice at Peabody campaign. Peabody, which provides 10 percent of the nation’s electricity and 3 percent of the world’s power, employs some 8,300 miners at 33 mines in nine states. (MORE >>>)