Congress Should Keep Promises to Mine Workers

Starting in the years after World War II, mine workers were an important part of the American economy. They did the hard, dangerous work that helped make sure the country prospered. Without them, the country could have been a much different place. And we promised them that we, as a country, would take care of their health care and retirement for their service. If Congress doesn't act soon, many retired mine workers could lose their health care and pensions.

Congress has until April 30 to pass legislation that would make sure we continue to keep this promise. On that day, the extension Congress passed in December will expire, as will funding for many retired mine workers' health care.

Call 855-976-9914 to tell Congress to pass the Miners Protection Act.

UMWA President Cecil Roberts spoke to the importance of passing the Miners Protection Act, which was introduced this year by West Virginia Sens. Joe Manchin (D) and Shelley Moore Capito (R):


We believe something will be done about the health care for 22,600 retirees and their dependents by the end of April, because if that doesn’t happen, they will lose their health coverage. I don’t believe the leadership on either side wants to see that happen.

We’ve got bipartisan support to this. It’s got to happen with respect to the health care.

No other group of workers actually was promised this by the United States government. These people earned these benefits. This is not a handout. This is not welfare. This is something these people are entitled to because they worked for it and energized this nation.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka addressed the legislation in his speech before the National Press Club last week:

Today UMWA retirees are on Capitol Hill lobbying for a fair retirement deal. Over 20,000 health care cut-off notices have been sent out and benefits are set to expire on April 30. We have a responsibility to keep our promise to America’s coal miners. Congress should send the Miners Protection Act to President Trump’s desk today.

Mining was a dangerous and difficult job and my family was not rich by any stretch. But unionism gave us a ladder to the middle class, and I got to climb it.

For too many people, that ladder is gone. We’re going to have to rebuild it. Rung by rung.

Follow the story with the hashtag #TheyEarnedIt.


Reposted from the AFL-CIO.


Posted In: Allied Approaches, From AFL-CIO

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work