09/06/2012; Jackie Tortora
The decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) yesterday that upheld last December’s decision by an administrative law judge (ALJ) that the Mine Workers (UMWA) fairly won the representation election at Big Ridge Inc.’s Willow Lake coal mine in Harrisburg, Ill., is a tremendous victory for miners, says UMWA President Cecil Roberts.
The NLRB has certified the UMWA as the collective bargaining agent there, meaning that there will be a UMWA contract at that mine. The only question now is when. The NLRB upheld the ALJ’s findings that threw out every single one of the company’s objections to the May 2011 election and substantiated that it was, in fact, the company which engaged in illegal behavior in this election.
These miners voted 15 months ago to be represented by the UMWA and work under the protection of a UMWA contract. It’s long past time for Big Ridge and its parent company, Peabody Energy, to finally accept the rule of law, sit down with its workers and negotiate a fair and equitable contract for both sides.
Read UMWA’s entire statement on Big Ridge’s Willow Lake mine.