Striking Co-op Miners to Hold Rally
The striking Co-op miners will hold a solidarity rally at the picket site at the bottom of the Bear Canyon Road on SR-31 in Huntington Canyon. This rally will begin at noon and will move to the Canyon View Junior High in Huntington at 2 p.m. for speakers and dinner on Feb. 7. Representatives from the following organizations will attend and speak, United Mine Workers District 22, representatives from the Co-op solidarity committee, International Longshore and Warehouse Union from San Francisco; their 17 member drill team will also be there and will perform. A caravan of people will also be coming from Colorado to lend their support to striking miners.
Representatives from the striking miners recently completed a two week trip to California where they spoke at union meetings and gathered over $10,000 in donations to help subsidize the striking miners who are fighting the CW Mining Company for higher pay and benefits. Those traveling to California were Ricardo Chavez, Alyson Kennedy, Juan Salazar and Benito Meza.
Representatives will also be touring the northeastern United States at the invitation of Jobs with Justice on March 8-14. A rally was also held in Craig, Colo. where $2,500 was raised and representatives from UMWA 1984 as well as retired miners were in attendance.
The miners said they haven't heard anything new from the National Labor Relations board concerning the charges filed against the CW Mining Company. The miners have filed affadavits with the NLRB testifying to conditions in the mine and the alleged company union in operation at the mine and alleged labor law violations. The miners have received a letter from the mining company in an attempt to resolve the NLRB charges, but according to miners the company wanted the miners to return to work under the same conditions with no guarantees of better benefits or better wages. Also listed in the letter, the company union; the International Association of United Workers Union would be the one and only legitimate and exclusive bargaining representative for the workers employed by CW Mining Company. The UMWA in particular has no rights to act as the bargaining representative for any worker employed by CW Mining Company. Striking miners did not respond favorably to the letter from the mining company.
Kennedy said, "We would like a big show of support from local people at the rally, the more support we get the more pressure will be put on the CW Mining Company. We have received letters of support from youth groups around the world as well as the New Zealand Miners Council and the National Union of Miners from Great Britian sent $1,700 and a letter of support. I believe the support is growing and the response has been unbelievable. Most people find it hard to believe these types of conditions in a mine are still going on."
The miners said, "The company never thought we would get the support, but we are getting the support and we will stick to it, on behalf of all the miners we will see it through until we win and get what we've been saying; dignity and respect for us and for all of our families."