Mineworkers call on congress to protect failing pensions

(Source: Gray DC)
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- With hundreds of pension plans on the verge of failure, mine workers lobby Congress to step-in.

The United Mine Workers of America will be on Capitol Hill all week. They're asking lawmakers to create a low-interest loan program through the treasury department to float their pension plan.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said Congress needs to protect the retirements of these mineworkers, and everyone else who's guaranteed pension is in jeopardy. "[Mineworkers'] jobs are as dangerous as any," he said, "we've got to make a decision, do we do them first, or do we do everybody that's in this precarious situation."

Those who are against creating a federal rescue package for pension plans say shafted workers deserve sympathy. But they, say the solution is government oversight rather than a taxpayer bailout.

A government agency already insures pensions. But, if a plan goes under, it only covers a portion of what workers are due. And, that federal insurance is in financial distress as well.

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