Coal Tattoo

Unions urge Alpha to dump Massey execs

With controversy over the Massey-Alpha deal growing, the labor coalition Change to Win is urging Alpha Natural Resources to sever employment agreements with Massey executives who played a role in the management of the Upper Big Branch Mine, where 29 miners died in that terrible April 2010 explosion.

In a letter today to Alpha Chairman Michael Quillen, the Change to Win Investment Group says:

Failure to take swift action could undercut the future of the combined entity to both sets of shareholders — exposing the company to the same tragic lapses of safety, heightening the integration risks, and eroding any potential synergies.

The letter notes the Upper Big Branch report last week by independent investigator Davitt McAteer’s team and says:

Ignoring the report’s findings could also undermine one of the key benefits of the merger — resetting Massey’s acrimonious and increasingly burdensome relationship with its regulators — and instead potentially taint Alpha with the worst elements of Massey.

The Change to Win folks also issued its version of a plan for reducing the risks of the Massey-Alpha merger. I’ve posted it here.

Meanwhile, don’t forget there’s a big hearing today in the Delaware lawsuit on a motion to block the merger … Thompson-Reuters had an interesting preview of the hearing here. Among other things:

Lead counsel in the consolidated case—Grant & Eisenhofer; Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann; Faruqi and Faruqi; and Milberg—filed a big, fat amended complaint enumerating both the derivative and class action allegations.


A flotilla of defense firms will be on hand for the hearing.

Stay tuned …