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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.


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3:18 PM  

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