The following is a statement from West Virginia AFL-CIO President Josh Sword on Senator Joe Manchin’s position on the Build Back Better Act:
“Throughout Joe Manchin’s tenure in public service, he has brought opposing parties together to reach compromises on the most controversial of measures, and while he has said he would vote against the Build Back Better Act in its current form, it is our hope that he will continue to negotiate with other national leaders in Washington on the legislation, which would help workers, our families and the labor movement both across the country and right here in West Virginia.
“The critical relief the Act would provide on the cost of health and child care has been repeatedly noted, but just as importantly, this legislation preserves the strained Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, which provides benefits to thousands of coal miners who suffer from the disease; contains groundbreaking labor enforcement provisions guaranteeing workers’ basic right to organize and bargain collectively by applying civil monetary penalties on employers that commit serious unfair labor practices (provisions from the PRO Act, of which Senator Manchin is a co-sponsor); creates and improves jobs for home care workers, while expanding access to affordable home and community care for seniors and those disabled; and includes Sen. Manchin’s ‘American Jobs in Energy Manufacturing Act,’ which will invest $4 billion in coal communities to attract manufacturing companies that will provide good-paying, union jobs.
“Senate Majority Leader Schumer has said he will continue to ‘try to find a way forward’ on the Build Back Better Act. The West Virginia AFL-CIO knows, and Senator Manchin should know, how important those provisions are to West Virginians and that’s why he should get back to the table and continue to be part of the discussions.”