CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — On Inside West Virginia Politics, Cecil Roberts, UMWA president, said that as mining jobs decrease and solar and wind energy jobs rise, miners should be the first to get training for these jobs. He says miners are the ones who are being displaced due to these jobs. President Joe Biden said he wanted to make union jobs for those who are displaced.
“We’ve been resisting that obviously because we think we should protect the jobs we have, but if we’re going to have a policy that says coal miners lose their jobs, do what you said you were going to do, create union jobs for those who get displaced,” said Roberts.
Roberts also says current union jobs pay between $75,000 and $100,00 per year with great benefits such as healthcare, pension plan, and time off. At this time, solar and wind energy jobs offer only half of those benefits and half the pay.
“I’m hearing a lot of talk about creating these solar jobs, but I’m not hearing a talk or discussion about making them union jobs. I want to see how that works. If we’re going to displace these coal miners, give them a future,” said Roberts.