Associated Press Published

Union Approves New Contract for 5 West Virginia Coal Mines


Members of the United Mineworkers of America have approved a new collective bargaining agreement that covers five northern West Virginia mines.

The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register reports 60.3 percent of union members voted in favor of the new contract with the Bituminous Coal Operators of America. The deal runs through 2021.

The current collective bargaining agreement expires at the end of this year. Union members had rejected a previous contract proposal on June 28.

The new agreement does not include a raise for workers, and both active and retired union members will have slight increases in their out-of-pocket health care costs.

UMWA President Cecil Roberts said it was a tough vote for the union members to take. He said layoffs in the declining coal industry has put pressure on those still working.