I want to thank all of those who attended the District Conferences we held in June. At each of the seven conferences, with over 3500 members from 207 local unions in attendance from the United States and Canada, the Executive Board’s Resolution to hold a Special Convention on Nov. 3 and 4 was discussed and resolutions were passed unanimously to support the goals of the convention. Delegates to the convention will vote on ensuring the UMWA has the necessary resources to win our fight to secure lifetime pensions for our retirees.
But even though the Special Convention is only a few months away, we have no time to waste. We must act NOW to convince Congress to uphold its promises to our retirees. We need to take every opportunity we can to put pressure on Congress to do their job and keep the promise made to you and your families. That is why dues-paying retirees who currently receive a pension will get a letter from me in the next few weeks to update you on the status of our fight to preserve what you have earned. The letters include a call for action asking retirees to reach out to your Senators and Representatives and let them know that you expect them to keep their promise.
The delivery of these letters will be staggered, with District 12 receiving the letters first, including all of Kentucky. District 2, 20 and 22 and Ohio members will be next to receive their letters and West Virginia and Virginia members will be last to receive this call to action. The reason we are sending these letters in waves is that we need to extend this contact with Congress over several weeks instead of just a few days. I will follow up with a robocall to these same members with an update on our progress.
Brothers and Sisters, your voices made a huge difference in our fight to secure retiree health care benefits. That is what will win the pension fight as well. I urge you, when you get the letter please make the call to your Senators and Representatives. Together, we will win this fight!