Beginning with churches near the coalfields, more than 750 local and national religious leaders have put forth “A Call for Justice at Peabody Energy” that backs miners seeking to organize with the United Mine Workers of America. The campaign includes miners employed in Indiana, Illinois, West Virginia, and Kentucky by the St. Louis-based Peabody Energy, the world’s largest privately owned coal company.
“Our religious teachings say that we are to treat others as we wish to be treated, and that laborers deserve their just reward,” leaders said in the statement. Concern over recent mining accidents has rekindled religious leaders’ support for the miners’ struggle to choose a union without harassment or fear of losing their jobs, June Rostan, an AFL-CIO community organizer working with the UMWA campaign, told Sojourners. “We hope that the company will open their hearts and be moved,” Rostan said.