Clinton Urges Passage Of ‘Mineworker Protection Act’ As Mineworkers Rally In Washington DC

By NH Labor News

Last week, thousands of members, families and supporters of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) from 13 states converged on Washington, D.C., to urge Congress to pass life-or-death legislation to preserve benefits for retired coal miners and widows.

“These miners put in decades of back-breaking work in America’s coal mines to energize our nation,” UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts said. “They put their lives and their health on the line every day to make sure that you and I can turn on our lights, power up our computers, heat and cool our homes.

“In return, they were promised retirement benefits by the government and their employers,” Roberts said. “Those benefits are now at serious risk, and will begin running out at the end of the year. For many, that will force them to make cruel choices between buying life-saving medicine or buying food. Congress must act now to keep America’s promise to these miners.”

Prior to the planned rally, Secretary Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for President, called on Congress to pass Mineworkers Protection Act.  Senator Tim Kaine, Clinton’s running mate and candidate for Vice President, is one of the many co-sponsors to this vital piece of legislation.

Secretary Clinton released the following:

“I firmly believe that if you spent your life keeping the lights on for our country, we can’t leave you in the dark. For more than a century, America’s coal miners have put their own health and safety at risk to provide affordable and reliable energy for the nation. They are entitled to the benefits they have earned and the respect they deserve.

“That’s why I am proud to stand with Senator Joe Manchin and the United Mine Workers of America in calling on Congressional Republicans to stop playing politics and give the Miners Protection Act a vote before the benefits of these hardworking men and women start expiring later this year.

“We also have a shared responsibility to reinvest in the coal communities that have been an engine of American economic growth. That’s why last fall, I proposed a comprehensive revitalization and job creation plan including building 21st-century infrastructure and high-speed broadband, repurposing abandoned minelands and power plants to support new economic activity, and creating a Coal Communities Challenge Fund to support locally-driven economic development priorities in small business, agriculture, health care, tourism, housing, and other industries.

“And we need to invest in carbon capture and sequestration, which will reduce emissions from coal and natural gas combustion, and will help us meet the global climate challenge more quickly and at lower cost, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. That’s why I support Senator Heidi Heitkamp and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage Act, which Senator Kaine has also co-sponsored.”

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka released the following statement on Secretary Clinton’s support for the Miners Protection Act:

America’s coal miners have sacrificed much for our nation, and we have an obligation to support them and their families. Unlike Donald Trump who says he’s with us but has nothing to show beyond the bluster, Hillary Clinton has our back. She proved it with a detailed $30 billion plan to revitalize coal communities, while Donald Trump says ‘trust me.’ She is proving it again today with her support of the Miners Protection Act. From the bargaining table to the ballot box, working people know who stands with us, not by words, but action.

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This was reposted from NH Labor News.

Posted In: Allied Approaches

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