Patriot, UMWA ink work contracts

PATRIOT Coal has signed five-year agreements for its mines with the nation’s largest industry union, the United Mine Workers of America, providing more than 1900 workers with a new deal even before the current contract expires.
Patriot, UMWA ink work contracts Patriot, UMWA ink work contracts Patriot, UMWA ink work contracts Patriot, UMWA ink work contracts Patriot, UMWA ink work contracts

Image courtesy of Patriot Coal.

Donna Schmidt

The company said Wednesday that the new UMWA agreements are retroactive to July 1, 2011 and extend through 2016, and are substantially the same as the National Bituminous Coal Wage Agreement that the union negotiated earlier this year with the Bituminous Coal Operators Association.

The agreement primarily impacts workers in West Virginia and Kentucky including the Federal No. 2, Hobet, Apogee, Black Oak, Pine Ridge, Highland and Heritage mines as well as preparation facilities in both states.

Workers at the mines will receive annual pay increases with the new deal and will have no cuts in health care benefits or pension benefits for active workers. Full health care and pension benefits will also be maintained for retirees.

“We are pleased to sign these agreements well ahead of the expiration dates of our current contracts, ensuring a smooth transition and workforce continuity at our UMWA-represented mines," executive vice president and chief operating officer Bennett Hatfield said.

UMWA international president Cecil Roberts echoed that satisfaction with the agreements.

“There are now more than 6000 UMWA members who are covered under a new collective bargaining agreement,” he said.

“We were able to negotiate good pay increases, and at a time when more and more employers are shifting health care costs onto the backs of their workers, we were able to maintain our health care with no changes whatsoever.”

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