TRIANGLE, Va. – The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) issued a news release on Wednesday stating that recent filings by Consol Energy in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of Murray Energy could pose as a major threat to the jobs of coal miners in West Virginia and the surrounding states.
The release stated that the filing, if successful, could destroy the jobs of thousands of miners living and working in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Cecil Roberts, the international president of UMWA, issued the following statement in the release in regards to Consol Energy’s recent filing.
“Consol Energy’s filing asking the Bankruptcy Court to convert Murray Energy’s bankruptcy from a Chapter 11 reorganization to a Chapter 7 liquidation could, if granted, potentially throw nearly 2,000 miners out of work. We have very strong opinions about this sort of tactic which would put our members and their families at grave risk, cutting off their health care and forcing them to look for other work at the time of a global pandemic.
This is one of the most outrageous things I have ever seen a coal company do. And that is saying a lot.
In my mind there is no other conclusion but that Consol is using the coronavirus pandemic and the corresponding depression in the coal markets – which has caused liquidity problems for Murray as it works its way through the Chapter 11 process – to kill off the company. And in so doing, Consol will callously destroy jobs, families and the communities that depend on them, just so it can take Murray’s customers.
We cannot do what we would normally do, which is to get several thousand people out in front of Consol’s shiny headquarters and say a few things in protest. But that does not mean we will be silent about this. It seems clear that Consol’s plan puts people’s lives and livelihoods at risk. We will not stand idly by while it threatens our members, their families and their communities.”UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts
Earlier in April, UMWA members ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with Murray, that would carry over to the debtors who are set to take over ownership of the company.