Murray Energy subsidiary, UMW settle suit over company's use of non-union workers

Energy Associated Press

A Murray Energy subsidiary and the United Mine Workers of America have settled a lawsuit over the company's use of non-union workers to perform work on seals at an underground coal mine in north-central West Virginia.

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Online court records show U.S. District Judge Irene Keeley approved the settlement and dismissed the UMW's lawsuit against Monongalia County Coal Co. on Tuesday.

The lawsuit said the company continued to contract out the seal work Monongalia County Mine despite an arbitrator's decision in 2010 that the construction and installation of seals in the mine was the exclusive work of union employees. Another arbitrator ordered Monongalia County Coal to stop the practice in June 2014 after the union filed a grievance seeking to compel the company to comply with the earlier decision.

Under the settlement, the company recognizes that all work associated with construction and installation of mine seals is the union's exclusive work jurisdiction. Monongalia County Coal can use contractors or salaried supervisors to provide technical support to help direct union workers in seal-related work.

Monongalia County Coal also agreed to pay any union members who lost work opportunities as a result of two instances of using contractors after the 2014 arbitrator's decision was issued.

"We (are) pleased that we were able to amicably resolve this dispute, which predated Murray Energy Corporation's ownership of The Monongalia County Coal Company," the company said in a statement to The Dominion Post (http://bit.ly/1Eyrggj).

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Union spokesman Phil Smith said Wednesday in an email that UMW will let the settlement speak for itself.

Murray Energy acquired the company in December 2013 as part of its purchase of Consolidation Coal Company from CONSOL Energy.

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Information from: The Dominion Post, http://www.dominionpost.com