WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of the main U.S. mine workers’ union has invited all of the Democratic presidential candidates to visit its “turf” to demonstrate that the party still represents the working class.
The invitation could heap pressure on the nearly two dozen Democrats vying for the White House to explain how their plans to combat climate change – most of which call for an end to fossil fuels use – will impact mining jobs.
“If Democrats are to win back the vote of so many who have deserted the party in the last several elections, it is exactly these kinds of voters who you need to persuade,” United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts said on Monday in a letter to the candidates that asked them to speak to miners on their “turf.”
Roberts told Reuters on Tuesday that since sending the letter, at least half of the Democrats running for president have said they were interested in UMWA’s invitation to tour underground mines, speak with miners and listen to their concerns about the future of coal.
“Those candidates that are willing to go underground will have an opportunity to talk to coal miners in the place they work and understand what they do,” he said.