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11/01/2004

Keep the Promise to the Coal Miners

The Keep the Promise to the Coal Miners campaign is reaching its final weeks before we send our petitions to Congress and hopefully keep the Cubin-Rahall Legislation - HR 3796 alive and will influence legislators that this crucial bill will continue much needed health care to thousands of retired and orphaned coal miners - many of which suffer from black lung or disabilities as result of their years of service in the mining profession.

Although the Keep the Promise to the Coal Miners has been successful with over 700 signatures gathered through door-to-door campaigns and our online petition site, still much more help is needed in these final weeks.

I am calling on everyone who cares about the importance of this issue to visit the website, sign the petition and tell Congress to keep the original 1946 promise made by the President to the union coal miners that they would receive cradle-to-the-grave health care for working in one of the most dangerous professions and their service directly drives our industries, powers our homes and keeps our families warm in the winter.

I am particularly calling on all union members in the United States to show solidarity and support their United Mine Workers brothers, widows of the miners and their families in signing this petition. Although it will not directly affect you, still as union members you understand that our unions are under attack by big business and members of our government who want to bust our unions.

This bill is a call to arms and we need your support.

I know many of these coal miners and families who stand to lose their health care. Many are disabled and cannot return to the workplace because of injuries sustained in the coal mines. Many are elderly and on fixed incomes with no way of finding or affording another health care plan for their diseases like black lung. Many lack the proper education or training to return to the workforce in the twilight years of their lives so they pay for their healthcare for themselves or spouses. The U.S. government made a promise in 1946 these coal miners were banking on to be upheld and now some people in Washington are trying to break their promise...leaving nearly 50,000 coal miners and their families with nothing.

Consider this many of these UMWA retirees were directly responsible for energizing the power plants that provided electricity or by products for workplaces yourself, parents and grandparents worked. The UMWA retirees helped to provide coal that powered our industrial facilities that made military equipment like tanks, jeeps, steel that helped win World Wars. They were there for us, now its time to be there for them.

Help Keep the Promise to the Coal Miners, visit our website at http://keepthepromisetothecoalminers.blogspot.com and sign the petition to Congress.

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