TRIANGLE, Va. — Members, families and supporters of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) from 13 states will converge on Washington, D.C., today, Sept. 8, to urge Congress to pass 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.”
More than 120 buses are coming from Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. In addition, UMWA members are coming from Colorado, North Carolina, Utah and Wyoming. More than a dozen U.S. Senators and members of Congress from both parties are scheduled to address the crowd.
The rally will be live-streamed on the UMWA’s YouTube Channel (youtube.com/UMWAunion) beginning at 10:30 a.m. A link will be available on the UMWA’s website at umwa.org.