July 13, 2018

Manchin Rallies with UMWA, Participates in Pension Field Hearing in Ohio

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) rallied with the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) and participated in the Joint Select Committee on the Solvency of Multipemployer Pension Plans field hearing today in Ohio. He met with retired miners from West Virginia at the rally.

“Today, I was proud to join, Cecil Roberts, retired miners from West Virginia and from all over the country at the UMWA rally in Columbus, Ohio. Our retired miners are the hardest-working people in America. They have dedicated their lives to power our nation to prosperity, committing years of their lives, often at risk of their health, to dangerous work in the mines. Now, over 85,000 000 miners and their families, including over 25,000 in West Virginia, are at risk of losing the pension they have paid into and have earned. This is happening through no fault of their own. It is our responsibility to keep the promise we made to them more than 70 years ago,” Senator Manchin said.

To watch Senator Manchin’s remarks at the rally, click here.

The field hearing today was aimed at understanding what’s at stake for current workers and retirees if the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) becomes insolvent.

“As a West Virginian, I have known coal miners all of my life and I understand the backbreaking work they have done and the sacrifice they have made for our country. So I am glad the pension committee held a field hearing in Ohio today to hear directly from retired miners who are at risk of losing their pension and how that would impact their families. As a member of the committee and as the Senator from the state with the most retired coal miners, I will do whatever I need to do in order to protect our coal miners and their pensions,” Senator Manchin said.

To watch Senator Manchin’s questioning at the hearing, click here.

The Joint Select Committee was created as part of the overall budget compromise that passed in February. The committee is instructed to report a bill by the last week of November, and will be required to hold at least five public meetings, including three hearings so that members of Congress can hear directly from retirees, workers and businesses affected by the pension crisis. The solution that the committee produces is guaranteed an expedited vote in the Senate without amendments.

In April, Senator Manchin released a report detailing the pending crisis facing multiemployer pension plans, including the United Mine Workers of America 1974 Pension fund. To read the Senator Manchin’s full report, click here.