Why Would Congress Bail Out Miners’ Pensions?

For decades, being a coal miner has come with a deal: Work in dangerous, unpleasant conditions for years, and in exchange, get lifelong health-care benefits and a decent pension. Now, though, part of that deal is jeopardy, as the funds that provide those benefits have dwindled.

When Congress returns next week, legislators will be under intense pressure to fund health-care benefits and pension plans for coal miners that are otherwise set to expire at the end of April. The United Mine Workers Association is urging Congress to pass the Miners Protection Act, which would use money from a fund dedicated to cleaning up abandoned mines to instead shore up former mine workers’ health care and pension plans, which have been decimated as coal companies have filed for bankruptcy and stopped contributing to health-care and pension funds. America has a “moral commitment” to the nation’s retired miners, UMWA president Cecil E. Roberts wrote in a statement last month.

But does it really? The miners argue that Congress has an obligation to step in because of a deal signed between the federal government and the United Mine Workers in 1946 to end a nationwide strike. The federal government had taken control of the mines, and in order to get the miners to return to work, United Mine Workers president John King and Interior Secretary Julius Krug signed a deal that required coal companies to pay into a pension fund and a health insurance fund for miners. Today, the United Mine Workers of America refers to that deal as “The Promise,” and says that it means that the government (since Secretary Krug was one of the signees) committed to providing miners with health care and pensions for life.

But Congress is in a tight spot. If it bails out the miners, why stop …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Business

LL Bean to open first Utah store in Park City

PARK CITY — A venerable old name will be among the high-profile monikers residing at the newest commercial development on Main Street in Park City.

L.L.Bean announced Friday that it will open its first Utah store later this year or early in 2018. When it opens its doors, it will be the Maine-based retailer’s westernmost store in the country.

The new 6,300-square-foot store will be located on the corner of Main Street and Heber Avenue in the new the Kimball on Main retail development, according to Ken Kacere, senior vice president and general manager of retail for L.L.Bean.

“It’s the first brick-and-mortar store in Utah, and it’s the first one west of Colorado,” he said. The company operates just 33 stores nationwide.

“This will be one of the more unique and interesting stores based on the fact that we designed it specifically for Park City,” he said.

Headquartered in Freeport, Maine, the company was founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean. At the time, the company made one product — the Maine Hunting Shoe. Today, the 105-year old retailer markets a variety of outdoor products and apparel with annual sales of approximately $1.6 billion, according to the company website.

Kacere said L.L.Bean made the decision to open a store in Park City due to the store’s proximity to abundant natural resources and a variety of opportunities for outdoor activities, as well as a population base that strongly supports the natural world and regularly enjoys engaging in all manner of outdoor pursuits.

“Our brand is a really good fit out here,” he said. “We are really focused on getting people into the outdoors.”

He noted that the new store will have a smaller footprint that will highlight the brand’s latest active outdoor lifestyle gear and apparel specifically selected for residents and visitors of Park City, such as winter sports, …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

L.L.Bean to open first Utah store in Park City

PARK CITY — A venerable old name will be among the high-profile monikers residing at the newest commercial development on Main Street in Park City.

L.L.Bean announced Friday that it will open its first Utah store later this year or early in 2018. When it opens its doors, it will be the Maine-based retailer’s westernmost store in the country.

The new 6,300-square-foot store will be located on the corner of Main Street and Heber Avenue in the new the Kimball on Main retail development, according to Ken Kacere, senior vice president and general manager of retail for L.L.Bean.

“It’s the first brick-and-mortar store in Utah, and it’s the first one west of Colorado,” he said. The company operates just 33 stores nationwide.

“This will be one of the more unique and interesting stores based on the fact that we designed it specifically for Park City,” he said.

Headquartered in Freeport, Maine, the company was founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean. At the time, the company made one product — the Maine Hunting Shoe. Today, the 105-year old retailer markets a variety of outdoor products and apparel with annual sales of approximately $1.6 billion, according to the company website.

Kacere said L.L.Bean made the decision to open a store in Park City due to the store’s proximity to abundant natural resources and a variety of opportunities for outdoor activities, as well as a population base that strongly supports the natural world and regularly enjoys engaging in all manner of outdoor pursuits.

“Our brand is a really good fit out here,” he said. “We are really focused on getting people into the outdoors.”

He noted that the new store will have a smaller footprint that will highlight the brand’s latest active outdoor lifestyle gear and apparel specifically selected for residents and visitors of Park City, such as winter sports, …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News