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THANK A UNION - Cecil Roberts President United Mine Workers of America - Battle of Blair Mountain

"When you see all these people with a social security check, you think that fell out of the sky? Thank a union!"

Cecil Roberts is a miner and president of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA). This was recorded in Sharples, West Virginia during Labor Day 2021 in celebration of the 100 Year Anniversary of the Battle of Blair Mountain.

The full audio documentary can be found here:


Speech (edited)

This is a significant place in the history of the United Mine Workers.

Why did you never hear about this march?

Because working class history is just never taught to the degree it should be.

We are bound and determined that the history of our forefathers will not be taken away from us by any rich person, any government, whether it be state or federal.

Those marchers created the working class, they created the middle class, giving people a voice at what? An ability to stand up and fight back.

That's why people, whenever they take labor day off, tell em' thank a union.

When you see all these people with a social security check, you think that fell out of the sky?

Thank a union.

If you've got a Medicare card in your pocket, you should what?

If indeed you get a pension and I don't care where you work, you should do what?

If you've got a safe place to work, you should?

If you've got a job that allows you to live in a middle class, you should?

If you've got equal rights as a woman, you should?

If you've got equal rights because you belong to a union and a person of color, you know where that came around you should?

If you got anything good in your life and you work for a living, you should?

It's all of you working together, standing together. Thank you. And God bless you.

About the Labor Solidarity Podcast

The Labor Solidarity Podcast highlights the work of labor leaders while discussing historic struggles and the importance of organizing with the goal of building international labor solidarity. The Labor Podcast is hosted by Elise Bryant and Evan Papp.

Learn more at: https://www.empathymedialab.com/laborsolidarity

The Labor Solidarity Podcast is an EML Publishing production and we are a proud member of The Labor Radio Podcast Network. Learn more: https://wlo.link/@empathymedialab








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