Coal Tattoo

Alpha’s union mines agree to UMW deal

This just in from the United Mine Workers of America:

The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) announced today that subsidiaries of Alpha Natural Resources have signed the 2011 National Bituminous Coal Wage Agreement (NBCWA), covering two large coal mines controlled by Alpha in Pennsylvania.

“Alpha agreed to substantially the same contract for these mines that we negotiated with the Bituminous Coal Operators Association (BCOA) in June,” UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts said. Roberts said that there are a few local issues that are different in the Alpha agreement, but that the pay, health care and pension benefits language is the same as in the BCOA agreement.

“The miners at those mines have already overwhelming ratified this agreement, so there will not be another vote and the contract will take effect immediately,” Roberts said. “That means miners’ pay will be increased by $1 per hour immediately. That means their health care will be preserved with no cuts or added costs. That means that health care and pensions for current and future retirees is secured.”

The agreement covers nearly 1,400 working miners at the Cumberland and Emerald mines in Greene County, Pa., and will be retroactive to July 1. Additionally, the company agreed that if it reopened the company’s idled Wabash mine in Illinois before the end of 2013, the UMWA would remain the collective bargaining representative for the miners there and this agreement would be in effect.