Supporter of the UMWA campaign for fair pay and benefits for active and retired miners at Patriot Coal hold a sigh asking the question “Are you next?” Twenty nine Buses brought the more than 5000 supports from Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Virginia for the rally that was held on the campus of Fairmont State University, in Fairmont, W.Va. on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. At the end of the rally 31 people, including Roberts were arrested for non-violent civil disobedience. (AP Photo/Times West Virginian, Tammy Shriver)
Here’s the latest on the Fairness at Patriot campaign being waged by the United Mine Workers of America, via the AP’s Vicki Smith:
Thirty people were arrested Tuesday as some 5,000 coal miners and their families protested bankrupt Patriot Coal Corp.’s plans to cut benefits, a plan the United Mine Workers of America says amounts to a broken promise to tens of thousands of workers who made Patriot’s predecessor companies profitable for decades.
The rally on a football practice field at Fairmont State University in north-central West Virginia was the 14th protest so far, but UMWA President Cecil Roberts promised there will be many more. The next will be back in St. Louis, where Patriot and several other coal operators are headquartered.
“This is kind of like the struggle of the civil rights movement. It didn’t end in a week or a month or a year or two. It was a long process,” he said. “This is about justice and fairness, and anytime you’re fighting for justice and fairness, that fight might take a while. But we’re never going to stop.”
We’ve got the whole story online here.