May 8, 2020 - United Mine Workers of America International President Cecil E. Roberts has issued the following statement:
'The reports of an ignition along the longwall face at the Grosvenor mine in Queensland, Australia are very troubling. The hearts and prayers of the entire UMWA family are with the miners who were injured in the blast and their families. We sincerely wish them a full recovery.
'This incident is under investigation by Australian authorities and the Mining and Energy Division of the CFMEU, the Australian miners' union. I have full confidence that the expertise the CFMEU brings to this investigation will reveal the real cause of this ignition and that they will take action to ensure something like this does not happen again.
'Coal miners put their lives on the line every day so that people all over the world can have energy and the raw materials needed to make steel. Many thousands who toil in places where there are no safety laws or where those laws are not enforced lose their lives every year. That is a true tragedy that few even know about.
'But in places like the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe, unions work to ensure that our members are as safe and healthy as possible on the job. And when incidents like this occur, we leave no stone unturned to find out what happened so that we can keep it from happening again. Every law, every regulation dealing with mine safety is written in the blood of dead and injured coal miners. We must ensure that their blood was not spilled in vain.'