Coal miners' union picks fiery president to serve 6th term - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Coal miners' union picks fiery president to serve 6th term

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photo courtesy: UMWA photo courtesy: UMWA

TRIANGLE, Va. (AP) - The United Mine Workers of America has elected Cecil Roberts to a sixth term as head of the coal miner's union.

Roberts, 71, is known as a fiery, passionate speaker and has battled in recent years to protect retired union worker pensions as the coal industry has slumped. He has led civil disobedience protests that sometimes end with him and other union miners being arrested.

The West Virginia native said in a release Wednesday that he will focus on retired miner pensions, mine safety and preserving jobs. Roberts says the union will "fight for those pensions to our last breath."

Roberts and his leadership team received nominations from 307 out of 308 local unions that held nomination meetings over the summer. The presidency of the union is a five-year term.

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