UMWA commends new legislation in Senate to support retired miners and widows


NOVEMBER 6, 2019


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:


“I am greatly appreciative of the legislation filed today in the United States Senate, the Bipartisan American Miners Act of 2019, sponsored by Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). The bill has 12 original cosponsors, Senators Sherrod Brown (D) and Rob Portman (R) of Ohio, Senators Mark Warner (D) and Tim Kaine (D) of Virginia, Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.), and Senators Dick Durbin (D) and Tammy Duckworth (D) of Illinois, Senator Doug Jones (D-Al.) and Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-Az.).


“This legislation will not only preserve the pensions for more than 92,000 current and future retirees, it will ensure that the health care of nearly 12,000 retirees who will lose that care as a result of the bankruptcy of Murray Energy, and 1,200 from Westmoreland Coal and Mission Coal, which went bankrupt last year. With this one bill, the United States Senate has taken a giant, bipartisan step forward in keeping America’s promise to our coal miners and their families.


“I am especially thankful for Leader McConnell’s support of this legislation. His voice on behalf of retired miners is critical, and I want to thank him on behalf of every retired miner in America. Senators Manchin and Capito have provided consistently strong leadership for years on this issue, and have never wavered in this struggle. Senator Brown, Senator Portman, Senator Casey, Senator Warner and Senator Kaine have been with us every step of the way.


“It has taken us more than nine years to get to this point. Let us get this legislation passed as soon possible, and finally provide some peace of mind to these retired American heroes.”​