Press Release

June 8, 2012
Senators Send Letters to Labor Secretary and IRS Commissioner to Make Sure Eligible Employees and Retirees Get TAA and Health Care Tax Credit Benefits

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) have joined U.S. Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Joe Manchin (D-WVA) in sending letters to U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Douglas H. Shulman urging them to ensure that eligible RG Steel employees and retirees receive benefits to help them seek new employment and access affordable health coverage. This will directly affect workers being laid off by RG Steel, including the almost 2,000 workers at Baltimore’s Sparrows Point.

RG Steel filed for bankruptcy on May 31, which has serious consequences for the company’s 4,000 employees and their families in Maryland, West Virginia and Ohio, as well as retirees.  The Senators have been working to make sure that eligible employees and retirees receive vital support, including Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and the Health Care Tax Credit (HCTC) benefits.  These programs are lifelines to employees who are laid off and are training for new employment, as well as for retirees who may be eligible for HCTC.

The TAA program ensures that workers who lose their jobs as a result of outsourcing to foreign countries are provided with training and financial assistance to transition to new employment.  The HCTC, which is part of the TAA program, makes health insurance coverage more affordable for workers who lose their jobs due to trade and for retirees who receive pension payments through the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

Click here to view the letter the Senators sent to Secretary Solis.

Click here to view the letter the Senators sent to Commissioner Shulman.