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He named as chairman of the committee Josephine Roche, who later became neutral trustee and executive director of the UMWA Funds.
One of the major activities of the committee was to convene a National Health Conference, at which Dr.
The operators again rejected the proposal and miners walked off the job on April 1, 1946. Another conference at the White House failed to forge an agreement and the negotiations again collapsed.
Faced with the prospect of a long strike that could hamper post-war economic recovery, President Truman issued an Executive Order directing the Secretary of the Interior to take possession of all bituminous coal mines in the United States and to negotiate with the union "appropriate changes in the terms and conditions of employment." Secretary of the Interior Julius Krug seized the mines the next day and ordered the miners to return to work.
The UMWA accepted the compromise proposal and set its sights on the next round of negotiations. The stalemate appeared to break when the White House announced an agreement in principle on a health and welfare fund.
Krug Lewis Agreement When the National Bituminous Wage Conference convened in early 1946, a health and welfare fund for miners was the union's top priority. Department of Labor continued sporadically through April. Despite the White House announcement, the coal operators still refused to agree to the creation of a medical fund.
Right now they are under attack by large corporations and certain elected officials who want to deny the miners of the 1946 Promise Congress gave to them for cradle-to-the-grave health care.
It combined the pension and medical programs and increased the royalties to 10 cents per ton of coal produced.
The entry of the United States in the Second World War caused the union to place its demands for a new medical system temporarily on hold.
With the end of the war, however, UMWA negotiators renewed their efforts for medical care reform.
Today the UMWA Funds provides pensions and medical care to over 100,000 retired miners, widows and dependents.
The pension payments are a vital component of the rural economies of the coal field communities, pouring millions of dollars annually into the economy.