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June 3, 2014
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[CALDWELL, OH] More than 50 workers at the International Converter plant here today ratified a new three-year contract that will provide annual wage increases, gains in seniority and job security with no cuts in health care benefits. The agreement was reached after a three-week strike by the members of United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) Local Union 4826

"I am pleased that the membership has been able to reach this agreement, UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts said. "No one ever wants to strike, but sometimes workers have no choice. This was one of those times, and because of the incredibly strong solidarity of the membership, it was successful."

"We gave the company a chance to understand that they need to listen to us," Bill Wheeler, L.U. 4826 President said. "We showed that we will stand together, and became a tight-knit group who were ready to fight for the cause."

The membership had previously rejected an offer from the company and voted to strike beginning May 11. Negotiations continued, however, and the parties were able to reach a tentative agreement on a new contract on May 30. The workers will return to work on June 3.

"The strength of this membership was truly incredible," International District 31 Vice President Mike Caputo said. "They had never been on strike before. But once they decided they had no choice but to strike, they were determined and were in it to win, no matter what it took. And that's just what they did."

"These members were an inspiration," said UMWA International At-Large International Vice President Donnie Samms. "They sent a strong message to every one in the community that when workers stand together, you win. That's an important lesson for everyone to remember."

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