FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 20, 2019
UMWA seeks wage increase in reopening collective bargaining agreement with BCOA
[TRIANGLE, VA.] The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) announced today that it had provided notice to the Bituminous Coal Operators Association (BCOA) and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service that the union is reopening the current collective bargaining agreement for the purpose of negotiating a wage increase.
The signatories to the current BCOA agreement are all subsidiaries of Murray Energy Corporation. The agreement became effective August 15, 2016 and contains provisions that allow for either side to reopen the contract, specifically to bargain over wages.
“We have 2,000 active members working at Murray Energy who have not had a raise since January 1, 2016,” UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts said. “They saved the company from going into bankruptcy when they ratified the current agreement, which did not have any wage increases and included modifications in their health care benefits and other provisions, in August, 2016.
“Since that time, their hard work and tremendous productivity have brought Murray back from the financial brink.” Roberts said. “Today it is a successful, profitable, expanding company. There really should be no impediments to the two sides sitting down and reaching a fair agreement.”
Roberts sent a letter yesterday to Murray Energy asking to begin bargaining as soon as possible. “It has been three and a half years since these workers have had a pay raise,” he said. “They have more than earned it; it’s the right thing to do. Let us get started and get this simple matter of fairness for the people who do the hard work to make the company successful taken care of. I am ready to get started right away.”