America’s biggest coal workers union called on Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) to reconsider his stand against the Build Back Better program. The union said that the plan holds several provisions that can help coal workers in particular.
Coal Workers Union Asks Senator Manchin To Reconsider Build Back Better Plan
The United Mine Workers of America represents coal miners in Manchin’s home state of West Virginia. They urged Manchin to reconsider his stance as union workers can benefit from President Joe Biden’s centerpiece proposal.
The BBB bill includes several provisions that can help coal workers. They include the extension of a fee that helps fund benefits for workers afflicted with black lung.
The BBB also includes tax incentives for manufacturers to build facilities in coal fields. Owners also get incentives for hiring out-of-work miners.
United Mine Workers of America International President Cecil Roberts also noted a particular measure in the BBB plan. The Build Back Better program will penalize employers who will deny workers to form a union.
United Mine Workers Want Programs That Help Mine Workers Across America
Roberts hailed the bill while saying Manchin’s decision was disappointing. “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, he said. This would mean working with his colleagues to pass a bill that will help coal miners. Doing so will create a “meaningful impact on our members, their families, and their communities.”
The West Virginia chapter of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) also called on Manchin.
AFL-CIO President Josh Sword called on the Senator to continue his talks with the White House. Doing so can help the state’s workers and their families.
Manchin Hails From a Coal Producing State
Manchin, a Democrat representing a coal-mining state, announced his opposition to the BBB Program last Sunday. He said that the BBB plan would speed up the transition from fossil fuels too quickly.
This may threaten the reliability of the electric grid and increase dependence on foreign industries. As a result, Manchin said he cannot support the $2 trillion climate and social spending bill.
Instead, lawmakers should address bigger problems like inflation, the national debt, and coronavirus.
While many groups called Manchin’s decision disappointing, the coal workers union’s statement had the most impact. Manchin’s coal roots are well documented.
In fact, the Mine Workers of America named the WV senator an honorary member last year. “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,” Manchin said at the time.
BBB Goes Against Fossil Fuel Interests
However, the Build Back Better plan includes more than $500 billion in funds for addressing climate change. This includes subsidies for renewable energy and electric vehicles.
This plays against Manchin’s constituents, who are mostly deep conservative Americans who voted for a Republican president.
Watch the NBC video featuring its Full Panel: Manchin said he won't support ‘Build Back Better' Is a ‘Massive Blow' to Biden:
What do you think of the coal workers union urging Senator Joe Manchin to reconsider the BBB plan? Do you also agree that Manchin should revisit his stance against the infrastructure bill?
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