FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOVEMBER 22, 2016
[TRIANGLE, VA] United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:
“I am very encouraged and appreciative of the letter released today [click here for text of the letter] by 22 Senators to Congressional leadership, urging passage of the Miners Protection Act before Congress adjourns this year. This strong bi-partisan team includes Senators from Alaska to Florida, Minnesota to North Carolina and all points in between.
“Their clear message is that passing this legislation is not just critical for saving the lives of tens of thousands of coalfield retirees, it represents a ‘continuation of a longstanding commitment by our government to lifetime health and retirement benefits for our miners.’
“These retirees earned their retirement benefits through decades of dangerous, backbreaking work providing our nation with the energy it needed to become the most powerful on earth. They aren’t asking for a handout, they are simply asking the United States government to keep its promise to them.
“Some disasters, like floods and earthquakes, happen quickly and cause immediate suffering and loss of life. The disaster that will come to America’s coalfields if Congress fails to act on the Miners Protection Act will move slower, but will have the same terrible, deadly outcome.
“Congress can avoid this tragedy when it returns to Washington next week to wrap up its outstanding business. It must take action to preserve the health care and pension benefits of these retirees.”