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UMWA alleges Murray Energy violating union agreement using contract workers

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Essential Energy Insights - January 2021


UMWA alleges Murray Energy violating union agreement using contract workers

TheUnited Mine Workers of America filed a complaint in federal court overMurray Energy Corp.allegedly using contract workers in violation of a collective bargainingagreement and an arbitrator's decisionon the matter.

TheUMWA alleged that Murray has continued to use to replace skip ropes,used to hoist mined coal to the surface, at its Monongalia mine in WestVirginia. The UMWA has filed multiple grievances on the matter and in July2015, an arbitrator awarded in favor of the union and required Murray to paymembers of the class action suit for 85.8 hours of work.

Thenew complaint said that despite the award, Murray has failed to adhere to acease-and-desist order of the final arbitration award. The complaint saidMurray used contractors as recently as Feb. 26 despite having sufficientemployees available for the task.

Thecomplaint said Murray had employees available because the company had decidedto idle the mine and about 70 minerson a regular work shift. The filings says there also currently about 200laid-off miners thatcould have completed the task.

"Thisminor lawsuit centers around the use of four outside contractors that possessthe necessary skills to change skip rope, on one day, at The Monongalia CountyCoal Company's Monongalia County Mine," Murray Energy said in a statement."Monongalia County will respond to the complaint in due course and willvigorously defend against these baseless claims."