UMWA union heading to DC, pushing Congress to pass "Miners Protection Act"

Published: Feb. 20, 2017 at 9:48 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 9, 2018 at 1:18 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - The United Mine Workers of America is still pushing for retired coal miners to keep their benefits.

The union is traveling with retired Tri-State coal miners to Washington D.C. this weekend. There, they'll meet with Senator Mitch McConnell about passing the Miners Protection Act. The bill would transfer half a billion dollars in pension and healthcare funds to retired coal miners.

UMWA rallied in Washington in September for passage of the same bill, but congress delayed it for four months. Union leaders say they are confident they will finally accomplish a goal they've had for the last five years.

"Every Congress since 1946 has honored their commitment to the united mine workers of America, you know we kept our kept our end of our deal, and you know a promise made should be a promise kept, and you know the fight continues. Our people have done their part and we expect congress to keep their word that they made to us in 1946," says UMWA District 12 VP Steve Earle.

UMWA officials say the retired coal miners' health care and pension plans expire at the end of April. The groups leave for Washington on Sunday.

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