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Cecil Roberts, president of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) called on Senator Joe Manchin, Democratic US Senator from West Virginia, to reconsider your position to Build Back Better, published CNN Business.
America’s largest coal mining union praised the provisions and pressured Manchin to do it again.
“We urge Senator Manchin to review his opposition to this legislation and work with your colleagues to pass something to help coal miners keep working and have a significant impact on our members, their families and their communities, ”said Roberts.
The UMWA noted that there are several crucial elements for its members, including extending the fee paid by coal companies to fund the benefits received by black lung victims: “But now that fee will be cut in half, shifting the burden of paying these benefits even further from the coal companies to the taxpayers“, Explained the union leader.
Another benefit in Build Back Better cited by UMWA, refers to the tax incentives to encourage manufacturers to build facilities in coal fields, employing thousands of coal miners who are out of work.
“Now the potential for those jobs is significantly threatened,” said Roberts, who also cited a provision in the legislation that penalize employers who deny workers their right to form a union at work.
The union said it has a “long and friendly relationship” with Senator Manchin, who has always been closely linked to this sector, as the politician comes from a small mining town in West Virginia, where he was born in 1947.
“We remain grateful for their hard work in preserving the pensions and health care of our retirees across the country, including thousands in West Virginia,” said Roberts. “He has been by our side as we work to preserve the coal miners’ jobs in a changing energy market and we appreciate it very much ”.
The senator on Sunday justified his rejection of the Build Back Better plan because he considers that raising government spending by $ 1.75 trillion would trigger even more the already very high inflation that the country is experiencing, in addition to pointing out concerns about the pandemic, geopolitical uncertainty and issues about legislation in his home state.
“I also want to reiterate our support for the approval of the legislation on the right to vote as soon as possible, and I strongly encourage Senator Manchin and all other senators to be prepared to do whatever it takes to achieve this, ”said the union president. “Anti-democratic lawmakers and their allies are working every day to roll back the right to vote in America. The fact that the Senate does not address this is unacceptable and a breach of its duty to the Constitution. “
One of the main points of Biden’s spending package on Build Back Better is linked to the fight against climate change and calls for the transition to renewable energy, so if this is not approved, it will be a step forward for the miners.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.