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UMW fight is on

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Friday, Aug. 1, 2014, 8:57 p.m.

This is in response to Craig Clemmens's letter “UMW's silence” regarding the mine workers union. Mr. Clemmens obviously is not a union member, so why is he whining for the UMW to fight for him and save his precious job?

I am a proud, long-standing, card-carrying member of the United Mine Workers of America. Our union fights every day for fair working conditions and benefits for our members. Nonunion coal industry jobs have reaped benefits fought for and earned by the UMW. Yet Mr. Clemmens doesn't stand in solidarity with us. Why doesn't he stand up and fight against what is unjust instead of expecting us to do it for him?

He has no clue what the UMW can accomplish. Last year, thousands of union miners protested in the Midwest over Peabody Energy axing retiree health benefits. We stood proudly in solidarity for months in the courtroom, the boardroom and on the streets fighting for fairness for our members. We won an unprecedented victory.

He called us “totally silent, an emasculated shadow of its former self.” He could not be more wrong. Join in the fight instead of crying for the UMW to protect your job. Every person whose job is in jeopardy because of the proposed Environmental Protection Agency carbon emission rules should join this battle.

This is not a fight just for the UMW; it's a fight for every miner and thousands in support industries that will be affected by new rules meant to destroy the coal industry. We don't back down. The UMW is here to stay.

Tom Firment

Rural Valley

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