TRIANGLE, Va. - The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) today announced that the union has reached a settlement with bankrupt Patriot Coal on new terms and conditions of employment that makes significant improvements over what federal Bankruptcy Judge Kathy Surratt-States ordered on May 29, and what Patriot implemented on July 1.
"After several weeks of nearly around-the-clock negotiations, I believe we have reached something that can be taken to the membership for ratification," UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts said. "We have been able to restore, or at least improve upon, many of the most drastic changes that the Judge ordered, including in the area of wages, health care benefits, paid time off, pensions, and more. In addition, we have negotiated a mechanism that will allow retiree health care benefits to continue."
The vote will take place on Friday, Aug. 16. Some 1,800 active or laid-off members in West Virginia and Kentucky are eligible to vote. The union will not release details of the settlement until after those members have had a chance to hear its terms.
Photo: Fairness at Patriot rally in St. Louis where miners engaged in civil disobedience. Fairness at Patriot Facebook page.