FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DECEMBER 06, 2016
[TRIANGLE, VA] United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:
“The inclusion of a mere four months of spending on health care benefits for retired miners and widows is a slap in the face to all 22,000 of them who desperately need their health care next month, next year and for the rest of their lives.
“Further, the complete exclusion of any language to provide help for the pensions of 120,000 current and future retirees puts America’s coalfield communities on a glide path to deeper economic disaster.
“The notion that Congress needs more time to consider this matter is absurd. This legislation has been before Congress for four years, has been through regular order in the Senate as was requested by the Majority Leader, and was passed by the Senate Finance Committee by an overwhelming margin in September. The time to pass the full Miners Protection Act is now.
“Strong bi-partisan majorities in both houses of Congress support this legislation. They need to stand up and be counted for America’s retired miners and widows right now.
“America’s miners put their lives on the line to provide the fuel that built our nation. Is their reward to become a perpetual political football, doomed to beg every four months for the benefits they earned and our nation promised them?
“We will fight this travesty in any way we can, and invite any and all allies to join us.”