by Casey Junkins
The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register
Fifty-nine miners at Murray Energy Corp.’s Ohio County Mine and 128 contract employees at Murray’s Marshall County Mine are now out of work, with industry and company leaders citing environmental regulations as the culprit.
In addition to these Upper Ohio Valley workers, 27 hourly employees at Murray’s Harrison County, W.Va. Mine also lost their jobs, bringing the total to 214 West Virginia-based coal miners affected by the move.
Cecil Roberts, UMWA president, said affluent people in coastal states are working to destroy those in Appalachia. He placed the blame on former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and members of the San Francisco-based Sierra Club for leading the charge.
“Billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s additional $30 million contribution to the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign is an affront to every working and retired coal miner, their families and their communities. It provides yet more ammunition for an effort that has and apparently will continue to put the lives, health and well-being of hundreds of thousands at risk in Appalachia and elsewhere,” Roberts said. “By shutting down coal-fired power, this campaign is making it ever more difficult for those working in coal mines to keep their jobs, meaning not just a loss of income but also a loss of family health care and other benefits working coal miners earn.”
“We may be invisible from the skyscrapers of New York and the mountains of California, but we are here nonetheless. We have long, sad experience with powerful elites dictating what we do and how we live, but we have also learned to fight back,” Roberts added.