UMWA officials said a vote to ratify the new deal, which would have extended from June 30, 2016, to December 31, 2021, failed at a June 28 meeting.
No details of the proposed agreement were released.
“This is a democratic union. The membership has had their say and I respect their decision,” UMWA International President Cecil Roberts said. “This is a very hard time for everyone in the coal industry, especially those who actually mine the coal. Thousands are laid off and those who remain at work confront ever-more difficult working conditions. Today’s vote reflects those difficulties and I understand that.”
Leading BCOA member Murray Energy (MEC) confirmed the potential deal last week, stressing it was pending ratification. MEC founder Robert E. Murray said the deal, if approved, “would go a long way” to ensuring the future of his UMWA-represented workers and called it a “path forward” despite industry conditions.
“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.”
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 Ohio Valley Coal Company and the Ohio Valley Transloading Co., which have about 200 UMWA- represented active employees, also voted at the ratification meeting.