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  • In Five Minutes Congress Could Save Miners' Healthcare, Pensions - 04-07-17
    Print Icon Apr 06, 2017

    By Doug Cunningham

    Five minutes. That's all it would take Congress to keep a healthcare and pensions promise to retired coal miners.

    But if Congress doesn't act by April 30th tens of thousands of retired miners will lose healthcare and pension benefits they were promised for life.

    United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts.

    [Cecil Roberts]: "On April 30th 22,600 retired coal miners and/or their dependents will lose the health care they've earned by virtue of the miners working twenty years or more in the coal mines.

    And then we have approximately 90,000 pensioners who are subject to lose or have their pensions reduced dramatically in the next four or five years if Congress fails to act."

    Roberts says coal miners earned these benefits and the government promised they would have them for life.

    [Cecil Roberts]: "And this is not a gift. This is not a handout. This is not welfare. This is keeping a promise."

    AFA-CWA President Sara Nelson says America owes it to these miners to keep this promise.

    [Sara Nelson]: "Join us in calling on the leadership of the House and Senate to stop obstructing a vote. To keep America's promise to our mine workers.

    They have given blood, sweat, tears, their lives, families, communities to power America, protect our country and build our American labor movement - to provide opportunity, respect and good jobs for all Americans.

    Some issues are complicated. This one is not.

    In as little as five minutes of time Congress can vote to keep its promise. Five minutes. That's all that's need to repay the debts that we owe to the mineworkers and their families."

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