The Ohio producer said September 19 that the union has been “flagrantly ignoring” some provisions of the deal.

“For nearly two years, the UMWA has orchestrated an anti-management campaign, whereby they have refused to report allegedly unsafe working conditions to management and also refused to make a sincere effort to resolve any such issues with management,” officials said. “The UMWA’s actions here are in clear violation of the agreement, and [it] harms the health and safety of coal miners.”

Murray American considers safety the No.1 priority, with the company’s CEO Robert E. Murray frequently reminding employees that there is “no pound of coal worth getting hurt over” and that all operational topics are closely evaluated from a safety perspective.

“The UMWA’s failure to report potentially unsafe conditions to management, however, detract[s] from the health and safety of our coal miners and breach our longstanding agreement.”

“Further, agents of the UMWA have filed numerous false complaints against the Murray American’s companies, which has detracted from our safety efforts, financially harmed Murray American, and put the jobs and livelihoods of coal miners at risk.”

The producer is seeking full financial damage recovery and is demanding that the union “immediately cease and desist…these destructive and baseless actions.”

UMWA spokesperson Phil Smith responded on behalf of the union and said the suit was completely without merit.

“We look forward to defending our members’ health and safety on the job in court as well as in the mines,” he said.