The Paducah Sun
The Paducah Sun
Paducah, Kentucky

Sick workers' shift supported

Saturday, September 11, 2004

All six U.S. representatives from Kentucky are backing a letter urging the House-Senate conference committee to approve legislation to fix a backlogged claims program for sick nuclear workers.

The five other congressmen and woman from Kentucky have signed the letter from 1st District Rep. Ed Whitfield, said Leon Owens, former president of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant nuclear workers' union. Owens was in Washington, D.C., this week to garner support for the letter, expected to be signed by at least 40 representatives.

It asks conferees to accept an amendment from Sen. Jim Bunning to move the program from the Department of Energy to the Department of Labor, and have DOL pay the claims.

The committee is expected to start work Tuesday or Wednesday, Owens said. "Senator Bunning will continue meeting with other House members to ensure a favorable outcome. We've done what we set out to do, and now we'll just have to wait and see."