UMWA reaches tentative agreement with Contura Energy, Alpha Natural Resources

UMWA reaches tentative agreement with Contura Energy, Alpha Natural Resources

Bill Stephens

July 12th, 2016



[TRIANGLE, VA] The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) announced on Monday that it has reached a tentative agreement with Contura Energy, the company that is emerging from the Alpha Natural Resources Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings with operations in Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia that are represented by the UMWA; and with Alpha itself on behalf of UMWA members at several operations in West Virginia.

If ratified, the tentative agreement with Contura would cover nearly 800 workers at the Cumberland and Emerald mines in Greene County, Pennsylvania, the McClure preparation plant in Dickenson County, Virginia and the Power Mountain preparation plant in Nicholas County, West Virginia. The tentative agreement with Alpha would cover more than one hundred UMWA members at preparation plants in West Virginia that the company is not transferring to Contura.

“This has been a long and difficult set of negotiations,” UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts said. “It is never easy bargaining with a company in bankruptcy, especially one that has a judge’s order in its back pocket that eliminates the existing agreement, wipes out retiree health care and ends pension contributions.

“But the devastation to America’s coal industry is undeniable,” Roberts said. “This is the last of three companies that filed bankruptcy in 2015 to emerge, and we sincerely hope there will be no more. Workers always come last in bankruptcy proceedings and retirees suffer significant loss.”

Workers at the covered operations will vote on contract ratification on Thursday, July 14. Details of the tentative agreement will not be released until ratification is completed.

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