Coal miners' union urges Manchin to reconsider his position on Build Back Better Act

Manchin has spent many years working closely with the union that represents West Virginia coal miners

The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), a union that represents West Virginia coal miners, is urging Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) to revisit his decision to quash the Build Back Better Act.

The union noted that the legislation includes an extension of a fund that provides benefits to coal miners who suffer from pneumoconiosis, or black lung disease. The fund is set to expire at the end of the year.

"We are disappointed that the bill will not pass. We urge Senator Manchin to revisit his opposition to this legislation and work with his colleagues to pass something that will help keep coal miners working, and have a meaningful impact on our members, their families, and their communities," UMWA president Cecil Roberts said.  

The bill also includes a tax incentive for manufacturers to build facilities in coalfields that would, in theory, employ thousands of miners who have lost their jobs. 

Manchin, who comes from a coal mining family, has worked closely with the UMWA for years, and was even named an honorary member in 2020. 

"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 upon receipt of the honor.

While Manchin worked on the Build Back Better bill with various Senate colleagues and the Biden administration, he played a significant role in servicing the clean energy provisions of the bill to include measures that would incentivize new clean energy jobs for displaced coal workers.