The Militant (logo)  
   Vol. 69/No. 14           April 11, 2005  
New Mexico miners organize conference
on women’s rights in the workplace
Militant/Jeff Powers
Members of United Mine Workers of America picket Kemmerer mine in Wyoming in 2000.

PRICE, Utah—Coal miners who are members of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) at the BHP Billiton mines in the Farmington, New Mexico, area are hosting a conference on women’s rights in the workplace.

This gathering, the first of its kind, will take place April 18 at the Farmington Civic Center. It is co-sponsored by the IUOE and the University of New Mexico School of Law.

“The conference is being organized by women for women,” said Rosie Kellywood, chair of the IUOE Ethics Committee and a surface coal miner at BHP. “We especially hope this will be a learning experience for those of us in non-traditional jobs.”

There are about 20 women and several hundred men in the area mines, she said.

“We’ve sent letters to members of the union, especially the women miners, to build the event, and we are posting the brochure on union bulletin boards at work,” Kellywood explained.

The title of the gathering, “Changing Woman Conference,” refers to a Navajo legend. Navajo miners represent 90 percent of the workforce at BHP.

Those wishing to register for the conference can mail a check for $10 payable to Changing Woman Conference and send it to Operating Engineers, Local 953, U.S. Hwy 64, Kirtland, New Mexico 87417. Organizers ask that those interested send their name, address, phone number, and occupation. Kellywood said seats are limited.  
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