AP NEWS

Retired miners rally over pensions in Washington

May 8, 2019

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Dozens of retired coal miners visited lawmakers in Washington to call for legislative action to preserve the pensions of about 87,000 retirees and another 20,000 working miners.

United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts says the 2008 recession and mining company bankruptcies have endangered the miner’s pension plan, established in 1974. He says those two factors have drained about $6 billion from the fund.

Several federal lawmakers, including West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, joined the miners for a news conference near the Capitol Wednesday. Manchin has introduced a bill that would transfer money from the Abandoned Mine Land fund to shore up the pension. The bill, introduced in January, hasn’t moved out of committee.

Roberts says miners made the rounds on Capitol Hill, urging lawmakers to support the bill.