According to the Associated Press, the idle of the Pineville mine lasted three days, beginning with workers’ rejection of a new tentative deal with the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) that included cutting health care benefits. The mine reopened April 14, but with 120 fewer workers than the 285 on its regular payroll.
UMWA Local 1713 President David Jackson told local news station WVNS 59News that the parties met during the stoppage and came to a “partial realignment” of the agreement.
A new contract, which would extend through 2017, is still being negotiated; Jackson noted in the AP report that because Seneca wasn’t able to exit the existing contract through that date that it opted in lieu to reduce its workforce.
Seneca purchased Pinnacle from Cliffs Natural Resources in December 2015 as part of Cliff’s divestment of all coal assets. While Pinnacle was idled and hundreds were laid off from the complex at that time, many had been brought back in the time since.