UMWA and Patriot to resume talks

ARLINGTON, Va. — Only days after bargaining talks broke off, the United Mine Workers of America and Patriot Coal announced they would resume negotiations.

“Negotiations will resume next week on Tuesday,” said UMWA Spokesman Phil Smith. “We look forward to being able to work out an agreement that is fair and reasonable to both sides.”

UMWA President Cecil Roberts indicated on MetroNews Talkline this week when bargaining talks stopped the two sides were only 30-Million dollars apart on working out an amicable financial arrangement. Roberts admitted the figured sounded high, but was minuscule in comparison to the dollar figures involved in the entire disagreement.

“There isn’t a whole lot of room between the two sides as of where they left off,” said. Smith. “We believe there’s a way forward here and we’re going to try and do the best we can to get there.”

Smith added any agreement the union managed to work out with Patriot would only be the first step in protecting thousands of UMWA retirees and their widows.

“We’re going to continue our efforts to hold Peabody and Arch Coal accountable for the promises they’ve made to these retirees,” Smith said. “That’s really in the end how we’re going to make these people whole.”



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