FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DECEMBER 09, 2016
[TRIANGLE, VA] United Mine Workers of America International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:
“While we are extremely disappointed that we were unable to achieve a full and final fix for our retirees’ health care and pensions at the end of this year’s Congress, our efforts were successful in winning a short-term extension of health care benefits for all of our members who received notices that their benefits would be terminated in January.
“But it is nowhere near to fulfilling the government’s promise to these people. We are more committed than ever to this fight, and will renew our efforts on the first day of the next Congress.
“I want to thank our stalwart supporters in this fight who carried us so far, especially Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), who fought for us every waking moment. Along with him stood Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Claire McKaskill (D-MO) and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND).
“In the House of Representatives, Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) is committed to carrying this fight forward next year, as are all our House co-sponsors. We intend to hit the ground running in January and not stop until we have won the full measure of justice for our retirees.
“Congress needs to understand that these are real people whose lives are at risk, with real health care issues and real dependence on their small pensions to survive. To callously cast them aside as some have advocated in and out of Congress is inhumane and morally reprehensible.
“We will fight for them and the benefits they have earned in toil and blood every single day, and we will never give up. This is not a defeat, only final victory delayed.”