December 6, 2012
Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis released the following statement today to commemorate National Miners Day:
“Today, we honor America’s miners who made the ultimate sacrifice and pay tribute to all of the men and women who make their living in this most noble profession.
“In 1907, the worst industrial accident took place in American history when 362 miners perished in the tragic Monongah disaster in West Virginia. A century later, Congress created National Miners Day to honor them and the memories of every miner who ever lost a life on the job.
“We’ve made enormous strides in protecting the health and welfare of our miners over the generations. But the tragic explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in 2010 that killed 29 miners is a sober reminder that there is more work to be done, and we cannot rest until every mining company is in full compliance with industry health and safety laws.
“At the Labor Department, we honor our miners every day by making sure they have a safe place to work. No workers should have to sacrifice their lives for their livelihoods, and the Mine Safety and Health Administration has made great progress in creating safer workplaces for miners across this country.
“On National Miners Day, I pledge to continue to vigorously enforce the laws that protect miners’ rights and to speak out about safety concerns that affect the workers who toil in our nation’s mines. America’s mining families deserve our appreciation and our support.”