ILLINOIS (KFVS) – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth met with retired Illinois mine workers on Tuesday, December 11.
She met with mine workers from Coulterville, Du Quoin, Millstadt and Taylorville to discuss how to protect their pensions.
“Our mine workers worked hard every day in difficult and sometimes dangerous conditions because they wanted to provide a good life for their families and they knew that when they were no longer able to work, their pensions would be there for them,” Sen. Duckworth said. “Now, their pensions are at risk through no fault of their own. Congress needs to fix this crisis immediately and protect the pensions these workers were promised.”
The mine workers, who are retired members of the United Mine Workers of America, traveled to Capitol Hill on Monday to ask Congress to help save the UMWA 1974 Pension Plan, which provides monthly benefits to retired miners, to miners who are disabled as a result of workplace injury and to their surviving spouses.
The pension plan provides benefits to roughly 91,000 retriees and in 2015, Illinois retirees received $64 million in pension payments from the plan. However, because of the 2008 financial crisis and the surge of bankruptcies in the coal industry, the plan is reportedly no longer on sound financial footing.
Written by: Amber Ruch