UMWA - United Mine Workers of America

08/15/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/15/2020 14:04

UMWA members ratify new contact at Cumberland mine, West Virginia prep plants

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AUGUST 15, 2020

[TRIANGLE, VA.] The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) announced today that its members working at Contura Energy's Cumberland Mine in Greene County, Pa., ratified a new five-year collective bargaining agreement, which will become effective immediately. UMWA members at five Contura coal processing plants in southern West Virginia also ratified a new agreement.

The new agreements contain no cuts to wages and benefits, and provide additional job protections for members working at the Cumberland mine.

'These are not easy times to be working in the coal industry,' UMWA International President Cecil Roberts said. 'The extended coronavirus pandemic has caused the thermal coal market to crash, and the longer it goes the worse it is likely to get. Production in northern Appalachia has dropped by almost 30 percent from a year ago and now stands at a 25-year low.

'Our members have been slammed with production cuts and loss of hours while doing all they can to keep themselves and their families safe from COVID-19. Working through this pandemic has been stressful for everyone, but our membership continues to hold together and look out for each other.

'I commend our bargaining team at Contura, led by Secretary-Treasurer Levi Allen, for hammering out tentative agreements that do not have wage or benefit reductions and,' Roberts said. 'That is an extraordinary achievement in a time when the coal industry is in free-fall and nonunion miners are seeing significant cuts to their wages and benefits. And I commend the membership at these operations for recognizing that and voting to ratify these agreements.'