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February 22, 2017
"Welcome to my email update. As always, it is an honor to serve you. I
believe in something called "retail government," which means government
should work for the people. Government should be accessible and provide
excellent customer service. My door is always open. I encourage you to
call my office and offer feedback and suggestions, and if the phone
lines are busy, please feel free to write or email
me. My staff and I work for all West Virginians and we will
always remember that.
--- U.S. Senator Joe Manchin
From the Hill to the Mountains
I am so proud to come from a state with so much resilience � where the
people work together, stick together, and we truly fight for every job
and every worker.
The $23 million settlement this month between Century Aluminum and the
United Steelworkers Union along with their retirees is a real story of
triumph not only for Ravenswood, but for our entire state. We have
shown the rest of the country and the world that West Virginia has the
best workforce and we can compete with anyone.
To say that this has been a long fight is an understatement. I applaud
the United Steelworkers, the retirees and Karen Gorrell, the fearless
leader on behalf of the retirees, who all remained steadfast in their
commitment to fight the wrongful termination of their healthcare.
These hardworking people lost a lifetime of hard work with the a stroke
of a pen. The lawsuits, the picket lines, Occupy Century Aluminum, and
the road trips across our nation are just some examples of the tenacity
and resolve that the retirees showed. Also, we must not forget the
retirees that are no longer with us. I know they are rejoicing with us
today in spirit.
More than 700 retirees and their families lost their healthcare that
was promised to them. These folks were not eligible for Medicare
coverage. Still vulnerable and in need of medical and prescription
coverage, they were falling through the cracks and needed help. That is
why, I am proud to have fought for temporary benefits through the Early
Retiree Reinsurance Program (ERRP)�a program made possible through the
Affordable Care Act.
We would not be where we are today without the assistance of Century
Aluminum's President and CEO, Mike Bless, who I personally want to
thank for his willingness to sit down and talk with the retirees and
their families. Without Mike's direct, compassionate leadership and
dedication to West Virginia, the promise would not have been kept to
these retirees. In speaking with Mike multiple times through the
years, I learned a lot about the price of aluminum and the electric
bills. All of us � federal, state, and local officials, company and
industry executives, union officials, and the retirees � worked
tirelessly to see if we could find a solution and preserve the retiree
benefits. Over the years, through multiple meetings and conference
calls, I never stopped fighting for Century to keep its promise to
I believe that West Virginians are the hardest working people in the
nation and these retirees represent the backbone of our state. This is
great news for the Century Aluminum retirees and their families.
On the Road with Senator Joe
Moorefield High School Skype Session
Senator Manchin speaks via Skype in Washington with students at
Moorefield High School.
Bill Signing at the White House
Like Senator Manchin always says, "I will meet with anyone, anywhere to
help West Virginians." He was recently at the White House for a bill
signing that will help the coal industry and he will continue to fight
for the Miners Protection Act.
Recognizing Pat Murphy, photography instructor for 38 years of
voluntary service with the Boys & Girls Club in Martinsburg. (Photo
credit: The Martinsburg Journal.)
Do you have a nomination for a Spotlight Feature?
to inform my office.
How May We Help You?
Working for West Virginians is truly my honor. As your U.S. Senator, I
am proud to be your voice with government agencies during your time of
need. I have a team of caseworkers in each of my four offices to help
you with matters of concern. While I have no direct jurisdiction in
the administrative matters of any federal, state, or local agency, I
welcome the opportunity to assist you with whatever problem you may be
experiencing and ask that full consideration be given to your case.
My case team was able to help Samantha Lidel from Buckeye, West
Virginia in Pocahontas County with obtaining benefits from the U.S.
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for her young son, Mason. If you
are a veteran, or know of someone in need of assistance with VA
benefits, healthcare or recognition, please let me know.
Samantha Lidel and her son, Mason.
Please contact one of my offices listed below, or email
me to start the case process. My team of caseworkers can assist
you with a variety of issues including: social security, veterans and
black lung benefits, passport and immigration assistance, taxes,
housing, student loans and more.
To contact me, please click here
5458387> to visit my website. To learn more, call my office Toll Free
at (855) 275-5737
, email me
, or find me on social media:
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