August 29, 2019 Blog, Press Release

Bevin Silent on Explosive Report That His Administration Is Not Enforcing Law That Protects Coal Miners

The Lexington Herald-Leader is out with an explosive new report that “Not a single coal company formed in Kentucky within the past five years has posted a bond required by state law to protect miner’s wages if their employer suddenly shuts down.”

The report adds: “In addition, officials in Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration urged lawmakers last year to pass a bill that would have eliminated the requirement.”

Steve Earle, Vice President of UMWA District 12 is now weighing in on the report, saying: “Coal miners are facing unprecedented challenges. However, Governor Bevin and his administration made things worse by failing to enforce this vital protection for workers. It’s clear they’re not on the side of our members and their families.”

This comes as Blackjewel miners in Harlan County have not been paid money they are owed because the Bevin administration failed to secure the performance bonds that would have provided funds for their paychecks.

Instead of explaining why his administration failed to enforce these protections for miners, the Herald-Leader reported that, “A spokesperson for Bevin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.”

When discussing the performance bonds with the Herald-Leader, Blackjewel miner Darrell Raleigh said,“They should have to pay it, cause you’ve seen what it’s done to us.”

Kentucky Democratic Party spokesperson Marisa McNee said: “Governor Matt Bevin’s administration has been investigating teachers instead of enforcing essential paycheck protection laws for coal miners. Bevin needs to answer for this new major failure and fire Labor Cabinet Secretary Dickerson for once again failing workers when it matters most.”