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UMWA approves Murray Energy pay deal

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World Coal,

Members of the US mining trade union, the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), have approved a new labour agreement between the UMWA and the Bituminous Coal Operators Association (BCOA), which includes Murray Energy among its members.

“This is a good day for Murray American’s UMEA-represented employees,” said Robert Murray, GEO of Murray American and Chairman of the BCOA. “This agreement will go a long way towards ensuring that our current coal mines can keep operating and our employees working, even in the current depressed coal marketplace.”

The agreement covers workers at six Murray Energy mines in northern West Virginia and Ohio, as well as support facilities and idled operations. It was ratified by a majority of 60.3% of UMWA members.

“This was a tough vote for our members to take,” said UMWA International President Cecil Roberts. “The coal industry is in depression and more than 50 countries have filed for bankruptcy in the last few years. Thousands have been laid off. The pressures on those whoa re sill working are tremendous and growing.”

Roberts continued: “But despite all that, our members took a courageous stand by voting to try to keep their company operating while maintaining the best wages, benefits and working conditions in the American coal industry.”

The new five-year agreement maintains wages at current levels and includes a wage reopener after three years, said a UMWA press release. Health care benefits also remain intact, while Murray Energy agreed to remain a member of the UMWA 1974 Pension Plan.

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