FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OCTOBER 29, 2019
UMWA statement on Murray Energy Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing
[TRIANGLE, VA.] United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:
“Today’s filing by Murray Energy for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization comes as no surprise. This day has been coming for some time.
“Coal production in this country continues to decline, due to the glut of natural gas on the market and continued government preference for gas and renewable energy to replace coal-fired power generation. Combined with a recent severe reduction in coal exports, these factors delivered a one-two punch that an over-extended Murray Energy could not withstand.
“Now comes the part where workers and their families pay the price for corporate decision-making and governmental actions. Murray will file a motion in bankruptcy court to throw out its collective bargaining agreement with the union. It will seek to be relieved of its obligations to retirees, their dependents and widows. We have seen this sad act too many times before.
“But that does not mean we will sit idly by and let the company and the court dictate what happens to our members and our retirees. We have high-powered legal, financial and communications teams in place that will fight to protect our members’ interests in the bankruptcy court.
“This is also the final shoe to drop in the battle to preserve retired miners’ health care and pensions. We have been warning Congress for more than a year that this day was coming. Let this finally be the catalyst that spurs action this year on Capitol Hill. There truly is no more time to wait.
“I want our active members to know that this filing changes nothing as far as the current terms and conditions of employment. The collective bargaining agreement continues in full force until the bankruptcy court orders changes to it. Our retirees should understand that their health care will continue to be paid, at least until the bankruptcy process is completed. We continue our work in Congress to secure their health care and pensions.”