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Retired Miners Make One More Push For Pension Protection On Capitol Hill

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Retired coal miners joined lawmakers from the Ohio Valley on Capitol Hill Wednesday for another attempt to protect miners’ pensions. Pensions are at risk because of a downturn in the coal market, the lingering effects of the 2008 recession, and coal company bankruptcies which have all reduced the amounts companies paid into a shared, or multiemployer, pension… Read More

Retired Miners Rally Over Pensions in Washington

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Dozens of retired coal miners visited lawmakers in Washington to call for legislative action to preserve the pensions of about 87,000 retirees and another 20,000 working miners. United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts says the 2008 recession and mining company bankruptcies have endangered the miner’s pension plan, established in… Read More

Remembering A Coal Miner Who Stood Up For Those With Black Lung

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Robert Bailey started mining coal in southern West Virginia’s McDowell County in the 1970s. By the time he retired from the Patriot Coal Company 36 years later he was already having trouble breathing. By the time I first interviewed Bailey in 2014, his black lung disease had become severe. “I’m in the process of a lung transplant,” he… Read More

Federal Prosecutor Adds Charges In Kentucky Coal Dust Fraud Case

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A federal prosecutor announced new charges against a senior coal company official for conspiring to falsify the required monitoring of coal dust. The case comes amid a surge in cases of black lung disease and widespread allegations from miners that cheating on dust monitors is common in the mining industry. Western Kentucky District U.S. Attorney… Read More

Coal Comeback? Coal At New Low After Two Years Under Trump

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It’s been two years since President Donald Trump took office and began rolling back environmental regulations on the coal industry. At a November rally in Huntington, West Virginia, the president took credit for a coal comeback in front of a cheering crowd. “We’ve ended the war on beautiful, clean coal and we’re putting our coal… Read More

Ohio Valley Senators Again Aim to Shore Up Shaky Pension Plan For Coal Miners

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Following a failed attempt to address a looming crisis in many multi-employer pension programs, two Ohio Valley lawmakers have introduced a bill in Congress to shore up the shaky pension plan for coal miners. The bill also aims to protect health benefits and restore funding for the federal trust fund providing benefits for thousands of… Read More

Three Miners Dead In Eleven Days: Grim December Caps Year In Coal Mine Safety

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Just a few months ago, the U.S. coal mining industry was on track for its safest year in history. But in an eleven-day span in late December, three miners died after separate incidents, bringing the total number of fatalities in 2018 to 12, even as coal mining employment continued its decline. “It is a reminder… Read More

Black Lung, Red Ink: Residents Press McConnell As Deadline Looms For Black Lung Fund

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On a cool but clear November day about a dozen residents from eastern Kentucky’s coal mining region crowded into the lobby of an office building in the small town of London, Kentucky. That’s where Kentucky’s powerful senior senator, Mitch McConnell, has his local field office. McConnell’s staff let the local advocates for black lung treatment… Read More