Cecil Roberts re-elected as UMWA president

August 18, 2014 by Ken Ward Jr.

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Here’s some news from the United Mine Workers of America:

United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts and International Secretary-Treasurer Daniel J. Kane have been reelected by acclamation to new five-year terms as the international union’s top officers, the union’s Auditor/Tellers certified last Friday … 

… Roberts has served as International President of the UMWA since 1995, and has now been reelected by acclamation for the fifth time. He has served in that office longer than anyone other than the legendary John L. Lewis, who was President of the UMWA from 1920-1960. A West Virginia native, Roberts first won International Union office in 1982, when he was elected Vice President.

President Roberts said:

I am extremely honored to be given this responsibility for another five years. To have the trust of the membership of this union and for them to continue to have such confidence in our leadership is humbling. Dan and I pledge to continue doing our best to keep our union strong and vital in what are very challenging times for the active and retired workers we represent – coal miners, manufacturing workers, health care workers, maintenance workers and civil service workers.

And here’s something else:

Also elected with Roberts and Kane were a slate of nine International At-Large and International District Vice Presidents, who together make up the union’s International Executive Board; and three International Auditor/Tellers representing Canada and the eastern and western United States (list below).

Among those is Tanya James, a coal miner from West Virginia who is the new Auditor/Teller for the eastern United States. She becomes the first woman elected to international office in the UMWA’s 124-year history. In the previous UMWA election in 2009, International At-Large Vice President James Gibbs became the first African-American to be elected to union-wide office.

UPDATED: Here’s some more background on Tanya James, via the UMWA:

Both Tanya’s parents were UMWA miners. Her father worked in the mines, but passed away (not work related) in 1979. Her mother went to work in the mines after that and worked for 23 years. She receives a UMWA pension and health care today. Tanya began work at Island Creek’s Mt. Storm mine in Grant Co. Six months after her mother went to work. After Consol bought that mine and closed it, she was on a panel for 7 years, then was called back to work at Loveridge mine in Marion Co. She was elected to the L.U. 9909 safety committee, then was elected chair of the safety committee, a first for a woman at that or any other coal mine. She worked at Loveridge until she went on International Staff in 2009. She has been an organizer and safety rep for the union the last five years.

The UMWA added:

 The UMWA constitution requires that a candidate receive nominations from at least 20 percent of local unions in a jurisdiction to be listed on the ballot. No one other than members of the Roberts/Kane slate received a nomination, meaning the entire slate was elected by acclamation.

Others elected to International offices are:

At-Large International Vice Presidents:

Don Barnett

James Gibbs

Donnie Samms

International District Vice Presidents

District 2: Ed Yankovich (Pa., N.Y., eastern Canada) District 12: Steve Earle (western Ky., Ind., Ill., Mo.) District 17: Joe Carter (southern W. Va., eastern Ky., southern Oh., southwest Va.) District 20: Daryl Dewberry (Ala.) District 22: Mike Dalpiaz (western U.S.) District 31: Mike Caputo (northern W. Va., eastern Oh.)

International Auditor/Tellers

Bob Burchell (Canada)

Tanya James (eastern U.S.)

Roy Fernandez (western U.S)

One Response to “Cecil Roberts re-elected as UMWA president”

  1. Cecil Roberts will go down as one of the great American labor leaders of the 21st century. (By acclamation!)

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