Richard Cicci, one of three dissident members of the UMWA facing expulsion by the International, spoke with the World Socialist Web Site. Cicci was one of several miners injured when UMWA bureaucrats attacked a peaceful protest outside the union's annual Mitchell Day rally on April 1.
'The international is trying to silence us. They don't want anybody who speaks out against what they are doing. From what I have been told there is a lot of dissatisfaction with the leadership. The problem is that other miners don't know about what is happening to us. All they get to read is the official report from the commission. Our local has already received five or six letters from other locals denouncing us. But these are letters written by the local presidents. The members don't even know they were sent or what is happening to us.
'The union leaders think they are the union, they think that if we disagree with them, that we are attacking the union, but it is they who are attacking the union, it is they who are representing not our interests, but the interest of the company.'
US miners' union assaults dissident workers, then moves for their expulsion
[9 July 1998]