HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – Cecil E. Roberts has been re-elected by acclimation to his seventh full term as International President of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), the union announced Wednesday.

“I am humbled by this demonstration of support from the members of our union,” Roberts said. “At every step of my career, I have put what I believed to be the best interests of the membership first. I think they see that, and know that I will always fight for them. I thank them from the bottom of my heart and pledge to continue putting them first in everything that I do.”

A new release says Roberts has served the membership of the UMWA as International President since 1995 and is surpassed only by John L. Lewis as the longest-serving chief officer of the union. Officials say during his most recent term, Roberts helped the UMWA preserve health care and pensions for some 90,000 retired miners and widows, helped to preserve jobs for active miners and helped to bring new union jobs.

Officials say the UMWA’s election process began with a nomination period from June 15 to August 1, and candidates must get a minimum of 20 percent of nominations from constituent local unions to qualify for the ballot for any office. The news release notes no other candidate for President or Secretary-Treasurer received nominations from any local union.

Officials say his running mate, Brian Sanson, was elected to his first full term as International Secretary-Treasurer. The news release says Sanson assumed the Secretary-Treasurer position in 2021, and has served on the union’s negotiating team for several major contracts. Officials say Sanson preserved the union’s financial strength in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding loss of coal jobs and the union’s 23-month-long strike at Warrior Met Coal.