Reform Federal Bankruptcy Laws & Provide Funding for the United Mine Workers of America sign now

To: U.S. Congress
On August 31, 2004 U.S. Bankruptcy Judge William Howard finalized the decision to allow Horizon Natural Resources to file bankruptcy, thus voiding union contracts that provided health care coverage for nearly 3,000 of their employees, including 2,300 retirees -- many whom suffer from black lung as result of their years of service working for Horizon.

Those affected by Judge Howard's decision need your support.

Those especially devastated by the judge's ruling are the 2,300 retirees. Most of them are not able to return to the workforce because of age, sickness (black lung, mining-related injuries, etc.) or cannot afford to find alternative medical coverage or unable to qualify for government-assisted medical plans.

Many gave 30 to 50 years of their lives providing this country with coal, the very resource that runs electric plants and provides light for us all and helped to build this country's industries and win World Wars. Their years of hard work was a costly one. Many of them now are suffering from black lung and other health problems as result of their years of service in the mines. Treatment for these health problems are expensive and can quickly exhaust retirees savings and hard earned retirements without adequate medical coverage.

Over the years these men worked, they paid in to their medical plans and were promised under the contract now voided by Judge Howard. With one stroke of a pen, Howard took away everything they had earned over the years. They are just asking for what is rightfully theirs.

Your support would include passing legislation that would provide funding for medical coverage for these miners through any of the UMWA "Orphan Funds" and passing bankruptcy reforms so no other worker in this country will be robbed of their benefits.

Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) and Reps. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), Ted Strickland (D-Ohio) and Jerry Costello (D-Ill.) have already pledged support for these miners affected by the Horizon bankruptcy decision, but more support is needed.

I will use this issue to evaluate your commitment to working families in America. I await your prompt response.

Sincerely,

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Kathrine RuizBy:
Entertainment and MediaIn:
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U.S. Congress

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