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Labor Disputes in the Coal Industry Remarks on the Stalemate in the Negotiations.

February 14, 1978

The present stalemate in the coal strike inflicts continuing and increasing hardships on this country and also on the miners, both active and retired. It cannot be allowed to continue.

I have just directed the Secretary of Labor to convey to negotiators for management and for the mineworkers my personal and most urgent request that serious negotiations be resumed immediately here in the White House.

I've also instructed the Secretary of Labor to participate personally in these negotiations and to give me a report, at least daily, on progress that is being made in resolving the present stalemate.

I continue to support the collective bargaining process. However, the welfare of this country must be my overriding concern. Renewed negotiations here in the White House must be viewed as a final opportunity for this bargaining process to work. If it does not, then I will have no choice but to resort to stronger measures.

While law enforcement is a primary responsibility of State and local governments, I've also asked the Attorney General to give me a complete assessment of the powers available to ensure protection of life and property in these extraordinary circumstances.

REPORTER. Mr. President, would you invoke the Taft-Hartley Act if they failed to negotiate?

THE PRESIDENT. That's one of the options available to me, yes.

Note: The President spoke at 5 p.m. to reporters assembled in the Briefing Room at the White House.

Jimmy Carter, Labor Disputes in the Coal Industry Remarks on the Stalemate in the Negotiations. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/244439

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