Miners Bill of Rights
What We're Up Against
In West Virginia, the real fight has always been between mineworkers and coal executives.
From the Mine Wars to the Black Lung Strikes and beyond, workers have stood on the side of solidarity, dignity, and the constitutional right to assemble. That’s whose side we’re on.
We will establish a State Black Lung Pension Fund, with clear guidelines determined by mineworkers–not company executives–to supplement the federal Black Lung Pension Fund.
- We will create tens of thousands of new, middle-class jobs for miners in public works–water, clean energy, small business, agriculture, land reclamation, and infrastructure–in the Mountaineer Service Corps.
- Create a “Miners Tax Break” that offers strong incentives to private companies, non-profit organizations, and other businesses that offer middle-class, union jobs to mineworkers in sectors beyond mining.
- Levy a 100% tax on bonuses, Golden Parachutes and other payouts for coal executives when their companies have reneged on worker pay, healthcare costs, or pension obligations.
- Investigate and pursue charges against coal executives that fail to pay fines, violate safety regulations, or renege on pensions and other benefits during bankruptcy.
- Work with mineworkers to update languishing mine safety regulations. It will be more expensive to violate regulations than to put miners’ health and safety at risk.
- We will make sure clean, safe drinking water is accessible in every mining community.
No one politician or slate of candidates can win this plan alone. We need you.
If you have an idea for how to make this plan stronger, or if you would like to lend a hand to win it, contact our co-chair Stephen Smith at email@example.com.