United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) President Cecil Roberts said Tuesday the coal industry has stabilized under President Donald Trump.
“The number of people working in the coal industry as coal miners has remained fairly constant since he went in and there has been a slight uptick in West Virginia,” Roberts told Hill.TV Tuesday. He specified this comes as the industry has not returned to levels seen a decade ago.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported coal jobs dipped below 75,000 in March of 2014 as part of a continued decline that slumped to under 49,000 in 2016. In the month that Trump was elected president, the industry returned to over 50,000, a slight increase over Trump’s first term as president, landing at 52,600 in February 2019.
Trump hit his opponent, Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton, for saying, “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business” while promoting alternative energy sources. A Trump 2016 campaign ad proclaimed, “Our steel workers and our miners are going back to work again.”
The UMWA president then pushed the American Miners Act with hopes that the president will use Twitter to “say to the nation these miners earned these benefits and Congress should move and move right away to protect those benefits.”
He lauded the “best health care” retired miners receive, specifically those who have died. Roberts then lamented what he said were concerns those retirees had about losing their pensions in their final days.
Roberts asserted that the bill would pass in the House of Representatives if it were put to a vote, “There’s no question about that.”