Sandy Dorsey UMW Courier-Journal (Louisville, Ky) Jun 16th 1984
UMW official urges women to seek office By STRAT DOUTHAT Associated Pross CHARLESTON, W. Va. Female coal miners should seek high offices in the United Mine Workers union, UMW Vice President Cecil Roberts said yesterday. "It would please us a great deal to see women running for office at the district level and even the international international level," he said. Roberts said no female miner currently currently holds a district-level district-level district-level job in the UMW, although many have local union posts. He made his remarks at a news conference devoted to the Sixth National National Conference of Women Miners, Miners, scheduled for next week in Charleston. Roberts, who is scheduled to give the keynote speech at the conference, conference, read a statement from UMW President Richard Trumka. He wrote: "The United Mine Workers of America has endorsed the Sixth National National Conference of Women Miners not only as a demonstration of solidarity with our union sisters, but as another vehicle through which the problems of women miners can be fully addressed." The conference's co-chairwomen co-chairwomen co-chairwomen Edith Stith of Pocahontas, Va., and Sandy Dorsey of Martins Ferry, Ohio flanked Roberts as he endorsed endorsed the female miners goals. They said next week's conference would take up such issues as sexual harassment, how to cope with unemployment unemployment and the need for increased increased maternity-paternity maternity-paternity maternity-paternity leave for miners. Mrs. Dorsey said sexual harassment harassment is prevalent in every mining job held by women. She said she had even seen mine foremen initiate acts of harassment that were then "picked up on by the male miners." Roberts said coal companies have a long history of condoning harassment harassment of minority groups in their employ. He said the companies do it in order to keep the work force divided divided and, therefore, weaker. "They did it when Poles and other non-English non-English non-English speaking groups first entered the mines, and they did it when the blacks entered the mines," he said. Roberts, in the midst of contract negotiations with the coal companies, companies, said this year is especially crucial crucial for the UMW. "This is not only a contract year that will determine how our members members live for the next three years, but it also is a presidential election year," he said. "The UMW has been working hard for Walter Mondale, a true friend of all laboring people."