WASHINGTON, D.C. – Meetings are scheduled to continue Wednesday on Capitol Hill between members and retirees of the United Mine Workers Union and House and Senate members. The union is pushing for the passage of the Coalfield Accountability and Retired Employees Act.
“The CARE Act will help keep the promise made to our nation’s coal miners by the federal government nearly 70 years ago, and supported by both Democrats and Republicans ever since,” UMWA President Cecil Roberts said in a prepared release. “This is not about party, this is about ideology, this is not even about coal. This is about doing what’s right and following through on commitments made to hard-working Americans by their government.”
Boone County resident Shirley Inman is one of those lobbying Congress this week. She said Tuesday on MetroNews Talkline her miner’s (health care) card is her security and something she needs to keep.
“I’m a cancer survivor. I have three stints. I’m needing a knee surgery soon and possibly shoulder surgery soon. So yes, I will be affected.”
Inman worked for more than 18 years at a surface mine. She says she and other union retirees know how important the benefits are.
“From my job alone I could name off five or six people that have cancer,” the Madison resident said. “We’re going to be in a terrible mess here if we don’t get these bills passed.”
The union members are scheduled to meet with members of the state’s congressional delegation Wednesday.