MADISONVILLE — Thousands of active and retired United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) members from seven states are expected to attend a rally in downtown Lexington Tuesday in support of legislation pending in Congress to protect health care and pension benefits for retired coal miners, their dependents and widows.
“There are 22,000 retirees who will lose their health care at the end of this year if this legislation does not pass, more than 3,000 of them in Kentucky,” UMWA President Cecil E. Roberts said.
“Additionally, nearly 10,000 Kentucky retirees could soon see their pensions affected without congressional action. With a shortened congressional schedule in this election year, time is fast running out for Congress to keep the promise our federal government made to these people.”
More than 50 buses will be bringing UMWA members from Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia to the Lexington Convention Center, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The legislation in Congress, Senate Bill 1714 and House Resolution 2403, would redirect existing appropriations to ensure health care benefits for retirees whose companies have gone bankrupt in the last 4 years, as well as prevent the UMWA pension fund from collapsing.