The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) which represents West Virginia coal miners has called upon Joe Manchin to take a second look at President Biden’s signature legislation, the Build Back Better (BBB) bill. The union reminded the senator that our president’s bill includes extending the coal miners with black lung disease benefits. If Manchin kills off the BBB bill, those funds dry up at the end of 2021.
Not only that, the coal miners union approved of the provision in the BBB that would have given them tax incentives for manufacturers to replace jobs lost as the country winds down its coal industry for environmental purposes. They could have had huge numbers of new jobs for the out-of-work miners, according to The This Week.
Manchin reportedly commented that he thought this bill would lead to workers skipping work to go hunting. He also reportedly said that West Virginians would likely spend their child tax credit on drugs. Clearly, the senator is misinformed.
The union’s president Cecil Roberts released this statement:
‘For those and other reasons, we are disappointed that the bill will not pass. We urge Senator Manchin to revisit his opposition to this legislation and work with his colleagues to pass something that will help keep coal miners working, and have a meaningful impact on our members, their families, and their communities.’
The West Virginia senator has stock in a coal brokerage firm. What is puzzling is that Manchin was integral in designing the bill’s clean energy provisions. He even pressed for the new clean energy jobs for displaced coal workers portion of the bill, according to WTRF.
Manchin released a statement that read:
‘Standing alongside the UMWA members while they fought tooth and nail to secure the pension and healthcare benefits they rightfully earned has been one of the greatest honors of my life.’
Roberts continued describing the bill, saying the bill also encompassed penalties for businesses that hindered workers’ right to unionize. Manchin is behind the pro-union PRO Act:
‘This language is critical to any long-term ability to restore the right to organize in America in the face of ramped-up union-busting by employers,” he said. “But now there is no path forward for millions of workers to exercise their rights at work.’
This not over yet.
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