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UMWA statement regarding layoffs at Murray Energy Powhatan No. 6 mine

date: 
July 15, 2010
For immediate release?: 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(TRIANGLE, VA)  United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International Secretary-Treasurer Daniel J. Kane issued the following statement today:

            “The UMWA and Murray Energy have been meeting off the record for some months now in response to the company’s request to reopen our current agreement with Ohio Valley Coal, which does not expire until the end of 2011, and negotiate a new ten-year agreement. Murray’s proposal would require concessions from the union.

            “It has become evident that the company has been withholding years worth of coal reserves for the Powhatan #6 mine in an effort to get the company’s employees to make major concessions. I would note that production records indicate that these same employees are among the most productive miners in the entire nation, including within Murray Energy and its many subsidiaries.

            “After recent meetings I held with the rank and file, the membership made it abundantly clear that they are not ready to accept what the company had put on the table. The union continues to be ready to meet with the company to discuss this further to see if there is a way forward that is mutually beneficial to all parties. We continue to believe that is best done in a reasonable, rational fashion with both parties acting in a responsible manner.

            “Unfortunately, the company has seen fit to take another approach, and instead engage in a campaign of worker intimidation, followed by media manipulation in the hopes of making itself look like the aggrieved party here. Those miners the company so callously laid off did nothing wrong, and truth be told there is both a demand for that mine’s coal and abundant coal reserves to meet that demand.  The company should put those miners back to work where they belong.”

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