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NLRB files for injunction to force Massey to rehire Cannelton workers, recognize and bargain with UMWA

January 31, 2008

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) today filed a Petition for Injunctive Relief with the Federal District Court in Charleston, W. Va., seeking an order that would require Massey Energy’s Mammoth Coal Co. subsidiary to rehire up to 85 miners who previously worked at the former Cannelton mine, now called the Mammoth mine, in eastern Kanawha County, W.Va.
    The injunction would also require the company to recognize the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) as the bargaining representative for all the workers at the mine, implement the terms and conditions of the 2002 National Bituminous Coal Wage Agreement and begin bargaining for a new agreement.

    “This action by the NLRB represents yet another resounding victory for these UMWA members,” UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts said today. “And it also sends a clear message that the International Union and the miners of Local Union 8843 were right all along when we said what Massey did back in 2004 was wrong. The day when these miners can walk back into that mine and reclaim their rightful jobs has drawn even closer.”
    The request for injunction seeks enforcement of a November 2007 decision by NLRB Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Paul Bogas that found Massey Energy discriminated against employees of the former Cannelton mine when Massey took over operation of the mine in 2004 by refusing to hire them “on the basis of their membership in the predecessor’s bargaining unit and their prounion sentiments.”

    Massey has appealed that decision. However, if the injunction is granted, Massey will be required to implement the ALJ’s decision while the appeals process is going on.

    “As workers know all too well, the appeals process in labor cases can take years,” Roberts said. “And all the while, workers who have been harmed by a company’s action get no relief. But this time, things are different. We believe the NLRB’s case for injunctive relief is a strong one, and we believe a judge will quickly see that and grant the injunction.”

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