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Thread: Wolf urges Congress to fund health benefits for coal miners

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by labrea View Post
    It goes back to an agreement reached in 1946 between miner operators, the unions, and government.
    The UMWA administered this pension. You don't get to vaguely state anything "goes back to" something else in order to try to offload responsibility and justify a union bailout.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Sampson Simpson View Post
    Exactly, his comment is absurd, because the coal companies or any other company has protections, they can just file for bankruptcy, the people, screw them
    This problem isn't between the coal companies and the UMWA members.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookycolt View Post
    Are you saying that letting them use Obamacare is fucking them?

    I thought it was such a wonderful program?
    You are repealing and replacing it next week, right? Why do you keep referring to it like it is not going away ASAP, after all your entire party ran on repealing it. And like the link said states that didn't expand Medicaid it wouldn't help most miners anyhow(that would be a lot of red states in case you are unaware)
    Thanks from labrea

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookycolt View Post
    Obviously it wasn't guaranteed or they wouldn't have to ask to keep it.
    You at least have to admit it is as cynical as hell to stand shoulder to shoulder with coal miners and then preside over the end of this support. Not that I'm against ending the agreement --- as I implied earlier, perhaps if miners suffer and die in full public view, people will more easily understand just how fucking awful and anachronistic the coal industry is. Then, instead of voting for people who say we'll bring back coal jobs (which is impossible in any case, by the industry's own admission), they'll realize that those people needed to be retrained yesterday --- for the benefit of their health, the environment, the neighborhoods that are built near coal power plants and our consciences.
    Thanks from labrea, OldGaffer and Blueneck

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    The UMWA administered this pension. You don't get to vaguely state anything "goes back to" something else in order to try to offload responsibility and justify a union bailout.



    This problem isn't between the coal companies and the UMWA members.
    It is when bankruptcy court lets mine operators to offload obligations.

    What would you like sick, older miners to do?

  5. #35
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    My family's ancestral home is West Virginia and from the end of the Civil War the men worked in the mines. Finally, in 1920, my great-great grandfather got tired of watching his brothers die either on the job or far too early in retirement, and knew he had a duty to spare his sons this fate. They moved first to Texas to try their hand at oil before ending up in Florida, where the family patriarch, my great uncle, still lives. Florida meant malaria at that time and my great grandfather had it all his otherwise full and complete life, but they never looked back.

    We need to do this as a country. If we turn our backs on the coal industry for good, some will suffer and some others may die. But it's the future that matters, and this bullshit is a sin of the past which doesn't deserve continued public support.
    Thanks from labrea, HayJenn and Blueneck

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singularity View Post
    My family's ancestral home is West Virginia and from the end of the Civil War the men worked in the mines. Finally, in 1920, my great-great grandfather got tired of watching his brothers die either on the job or far too early in retirement, and knew he had a duty to spare his sons this fate. They moved first to Texas to try their hand at oil before ending up in Florida, where the family patriarch, my great uncle, still lives. Florida meant malaria at that time and my great grandfather had it all his otherwise full and complete life, but they never looked back.

    We need to do this as a country. If we turn our backs on the coal industry for good, some will suffer and some others may die. But it's the future that matters, and this bullshit is a sin of the past which doesn't deserve continued public support.
    Amen!

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by labrea View Post
    It is when bankruptcy court lets mine operators to offload obligations.

    What would you like sick, older miners to do?
    If the pension was administered by the union, why is its failure related to the operator? what obligation did they have at that point?

  8. #38
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    The fate of American workers that listen to the false promises of Republican politicians:

    During the Republican primaries in 2016, Donald Trump was more popular in McDowell County than anywhere else in America, winning 91.5 percent of Republican primary voters.
    McDowell County was once the coal capital of America. Now it’s the poorest county in West Virginia. Life expectancy for men in McDowell County is lower today than it was in 1980, and is now equal to that of men in Ethiopia.

  9. #39
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    One thing all right wingers will agree on, fuck the American workers and let them die.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    The pension is flirting with insolvency, and retirees are often on Medicare anyway. What exactly are the benefits that these people stand to lose?
    Responsibility for the retirees’ health plans has increasingly shifted to the federal government in recent years, as struggling coal companies have shed their liabilities in bankruptcy court. Congress voted last fall to finance benefits for a large group of retirees for several months, but House and Senate Republican leaders have yet to agree on a longer-term solution.

    The benefits can easily mean the difference between a middle-class retirement and economic hardship, since many retired miners are too young to qualify for Medicare. Others have chronic or debilitating health problems that would require expensive supplemental coverage — currently provided by the retiree plan — even with the Medicare benefit.

    Norm Skinner worked for more than 20 years as a miner in eastern Ohio and had triple bypass surgery in 2010. Without the retiree health plan, he said, the surgery “would have broke me,” even with Medicare picking up much of the bill.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/19/b...alth-plan.html

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