While no details of the deal were released by either party, they did confirm that the new deal will run from June 30, 2016 to December 31, 2021 if ratified by the UMWA.
“We are pleased that the BCOA and UMWA have reached this very important tentative agreement, which will go a long way in ensuring that Murray American’s UMWA-represented employees are able to continue working, even in this very depressed coal marketplace,” said Murray Energy CEO Robert E. Murray, who serves as chairman of the BCOA.
“Indeed, over the past several years, the United States coal industry has been absolutely destroyed by policies of the Obama Administration and by the increased use of natural gas to generate electricity. Coal markets and prices have generally been cut in half. This tentative agreement provides the BCOA and UMWA with a path forward, even in these extremely difficult times.”
UMWA International President Cecil Roberts said that the ratification vote will be taken on June 28.
“This tentative agreement comes six months before the expiration of the current agreement; however, the rapidly deteriorating status of the American coal industry means that it is important to lock in the best terms and conditions we can before things get any worse,” he said. “We believe this proposal does that, but it is up to the UMWA members who will vote on this agreement to make the final determination.”
Murray American’s Ohio County Coal, Marshall County Coal, Marion County Coal, Harrison County Coal and Monongalia County Coal subsidiaries are all BCOA members. The producer said that the Ohio Valley Coal Company and the Ohio Valley Transloading Company, which have about 200 UMWA- represented active employees, will also be voting on the tentative UMWA deal.