Coal Tattoo


Here’s the latest from the United Mine Workers of America and its president, Cecil Roberts:

The UMWA has received multiple inquiries from the media, industry representatives, government officials and mine safety advocates regarding our views of the respirable dust rule issued by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) last week. We appreciate that interest, and we recognize our responsibility as the representative of workers in the coal industry to make our position known.

The rule as issued by MSHA is 991 pages long. We are reading all of them, and we encourage those who want to fully understand what the rule does and does not do to read the full text as well. We are engaging in vigorous discussions and data research at our offices in an effort to completely understand how the many parts of this rule will be applied in the workplace.

All too frequently in these situations, what’s written on paper turns out to be different from what we expected once it’s applied in the real world conditions of an active coal mine. We believe it is incumbent upon us, as the representative of miners, to give our members the best and most complete information we can about what this rule will actually mean for them, and we intend to do that prior to making a public statement about it.