Big Labor Politicians Lied to Mineworkers

Surrounded by Pennsylvania mining employees, President Trump signs his deregulatory “Promoting Energy Independence” Executive Order. Mining-sector jobs have rebounded rapidly during his administration’s early months. (PHOTO JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Employment Surges as Obama ‘Killer’ Regulations Are Lifted

In May 2008, United Mine Workers of America (UMWA/AFL-CIO) union President Cecil Roberts announced that his union’s political committee had unanimously opted to endorse then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for President and spend miners’ forced-dues money to get him elected.

Mr. Roberts publicly vowed that, as the country’s chief executive, Mr. Obama would “work to ensure the future of American coal and the jobs that go with it.”

But once Mr. Obama became America’s 44th President with massive help from Big Labor, this turned out to be the opposite of the truth.

During his eight years in the White House, he relentlessly pushed through regulations that were expressly designed to kill a wide array of jobs in the mining sector, including coal jobs.

From October 2014 Through October 2016, U.S. Mining-Sector Jobs Plunged by 28%

During the 24 months prior to the November 2016 elections, as the Obama Administration’s regulatory assault intensified, seasonally adjusted mining-sector jobs plunged by 28%, from 847,000 to fewer than 609,000, according to the U.S. Labor Department’s current estimate.

But Mr. Obama and other union-label politicians refused to accept responsibility for job destruction that Mr. Obama’s own appointees had predicted.

The Obama team’s new line was that non-regulatory factors were solely responsible for devastating mining employment losses.

Now it’s clear that was completely untrue.

In an eye-opening syndicated column published in mid-April, Heritage Foundation visiting fellow and senior CNN economic analyst Stephen Moore called the public’s attention to the fact that, just since October 2016, nationwide mining-sector employment had expanded by 35,000, or nearly 6%.

Mr. Moore persuasively argued that this expansion, “following years of painful layoffs in the mining industry,” shows that job-creating investors responded almost immediately and positively to the election of Donald Trump as President.

During the 2016 campaign, Mr. Trump promised again and again to lift the Obama Administration’s “killer” mine regulations, and since he took office he has begun to keep that promise.

“It turns out that, after all, elections do have consequences,” wrote Mr. Moore, who cited as additional evidence for his proposition the recent strong emergences from bankruptcy of Peabody Energy, the nation’s largest coal producer, and Arch Coal.

In West Virginia and Kentucky, UMWA Bosses Have Been Held Accountable

“The forced-dues-paying miners whose hard-earned money was requisitioned by UMWA kingpins to help elect Barack Obama in 2008 represent only a small fraction of the unionized workers across America who have been sold out by Big Labor political schemers,” said National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix.

“Union chiefs always claim, in public, that the politicians they are bankrolling with workers’ conscripted money will support policies to enhance those workers’ job security and help them improve their living standards.

“But in many, if not most, cases, such Big Labor claims turn out to be false once the union-label politicians are installed in office.” Mr. Mix added that many workers whose jobs depend, directly or indirectly, on the financial viability of the mining industry were active in recent successful efforts to enact Right to Work laws in West Virginia and Kentucky.

“Even though mining is still an important source of employment in the Mountain and Bluegrass States, Organized Labor has relentlessly backed politicians who appear determined to kill off the industry and the hundreds of thousands of jobs it sustains,” he said.

In February 2016, after pro-Right to Work West Virginia legislators overrode Big Labor Democrat Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s veto to make their state the 26th to ban forced union dues and fees, Washington Post reporter Lydia DePillis acknowledged that they had done it “with the help of union [rank-and-file] votes.”

Mr. Mix concluded: “It is good that Big Labor bosses in states like West Virginia and Kentucky have been held accountable by ordinary workers and other citizens for pouring vast sums of forced-dues money into the campaigns of regulation-happy, job-destroying politicians.

“Unfortunately, in 22 states, where nearly half the nation’s workforce resides, federally imposed compulsory financial support for Big Labor remains the law of the land.

“Committee members won’t be satisfied until all American employees enjoy Right to Work protections.”

(Source: June 2017 National Right to Work Newsletter)