December 17, 2019
W.Va (WDTV) — After years of fighting, it looks like mine workers will finally be getting the benefits they say they were promised back in 1946.
Senator Manchin’s Bipartisan American Miners Act is now included in the final budget bill.
The bill will be reviewed by the House and Senate later this week and finally sent to President Trump.
Mark Dorsey has been retired from the West Virginia mines for ten years now.
“Feeling real great, early Christmas present,” said Dorsey regarding the legislation.
He says he can still remember the promise made to the miners regarding their service.
“We was promised if we supplied coal to the nation to make the steel that we would have forever pensions and healthcare.”
But he also says federal budget issues have caused the miners to have to fight for this promise to be kept for the last ten years.
“We had to fight for it every step of the way. We earned this, this is something that we should’ve had without having to have this fight.”
West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin says he’s been on the front lines to secure the funding for quite some time.
“We had to do something and do it now, we couldn’t wait until next year, the year after. We did not have that luxury, people would start hurting and hurting badly at the end of this year and by March of next year they would have been devastated,” said Senator Manchin.
The Senator’s American Miners Act was recently folded into the government funding bill.
Dorsey says people will die without the protections.
“We stand to lose our pensions and healthcare this coming year, so if you take the healthcare and pensions away from the retirees well most people are going to have to go back to work, you cant survive without it. People will die without the healthcare.”
Manchin said on Twitter he got a call from President Trump and according to the tweet is “very happy for our miners and is looking forward to signing this bill into law.”
Dorsey says he and many others at United mine workers can hardly remember a time when they weren’t fighting for the promise of healthcare, but this new legislation has brought them new hope.
“This has been some ten years in the making, its finally happened, its truly a great day,” said Dorsey.
Dorsey went on to say that today was a milestone for all mine workers..and he cant wait for the bill to receive the sign of approval.
Written by: Gillian Mencken