UMWA-Patriot agreement avoids bitter struggle - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

UMWA-Patriot agreement avoids bitter struggle

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  • Can we be realistic on roads?

    Can we be realistic on roads?

    Friday, July 18 2014 7:00 AM EDT2014-07-18 11:00:54 GMT
    Building and maintaining roads should not be a political issue. In fact, it should be pretty straightforward. Potholes need filled, drainage ditches need cleaned, the highways need striped — while it might be painstaking and expensive, the overall concept is pretty simple.
    Building and maintaining roads should not be a political issue. In fact, it should be pretty straightforward. Potholes need filled, drainage ditches need cleaned, the highways need striped — while it might be painstaking and expensive, the overall concept is pretty simple.
  • Looking the other way perpetuates criminal politics

    Looking the other way perpetuates criminal politics

    Friday, July 11 2014 10:46 AM EDT2014-07-11 14:46:55 GMT
    Former Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for his role in a political scheme that has dominated headlines for nearly a year and shined a bright light on one part of the state’s tangled web of public corruption.
    Former Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for his role in a political scheme that has dominated headlines for nearly a year and shined a bright light on one part of the state’s tangled web of public corruption.
  • Energy generation economy will require evolution

    Energy generation economy will require evolution

    Friday, June 27 2014 9:38 AM EDT2014-06-27 13:38:18 GMT
    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed down an interesting decision in terms of what the Environmental Protection Agency can and cannot do in terms of reducing emissions at power plants and factories.
    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed down an interesting decision in terms of what the Environmental Protection Agency can and cannot do in terms of reducing emissions at power plants and factories.

Thankfully, it looks like the United Mine Workers of America and Patriot Coal have come to an agreement on retirees' health care benefits. Earlier this year, a federal bankruptcy judge allowed the company to throw out previously negotiated union contracts and significantly reduce benefits. This week, both the UMWA and Patriot confirmed that a settlement has been reached and will now be taken to union members for ratification. Details of the proposal have not been announced, but both UMWA President Cecil Roberts and Patriot President and CEO Ben Hatfield said in separate statements that each side came together and worked hard to find common ground.

This seems to be a pleasant end to what was an incredibly acrimonious situation and one that had many worried about employer obligations. Patriot was right to come back to the bargaining table, and UMWA leaders showed they're willing to work for their members and ensure that promises made are promises kept. Developing a workable, lasting solution made sense for all involved. Retirees get to keep their benefits and Patriot claims this will put it on solid footing for the future. Rather than continue to drag this out and create uncertainty for everyone, we laud both sides for coming together and hammering out a deal.