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CHAIRMAN OF PEABODY HOLDING COMPANY ADDRESSES DELEGATION OF EUROPEAN LEADERS

 ST. LOUIS, July 15 /PRNewswire/ -- "The leaders of the world's trade unions must accept and adapt to the realities of market competition if they are to achieve job security for their members or their unions," Irl F. Engelhardt, chairman of Peabody Holding Company, Inc., the largest U.S. coal producer, told a delegation of European labor leaders here today.
 "Union leaders and unionized companies must accept the economic realities imposed by the marketplace to become competitive," Engelhardt said.
 The remarks were based on the steep decline in the European coal industry that is the result of global competition and the increasing loss of governmental subsidies. Since 1973, hard coal output in European Community countries has dropped by one-third, imports of coal have tripled, and coal mining jobs have been cut in half. Coal mining employment in the U.K. alone has fallen 72 percent in the past six years.
 "The European coal industry experience should be a wake-up call for the leaders of the United Mine Workers of America," Engelhardt said. "Unless UMWA-represented mines become competitive with the much larger non-union sector here, UMWA membership and UMWA-mined coal, which now represents about 30 percent of U.S. coal production, compared to 90 percent in 1950, will continue to decline."
 "The UMWA leaders appear to be following the same approach that led to the decline of the European coal industry," Engelhardt said.
 Since May 3, the UMWA has steadily expanded its strike against unionized U.S. coal companies that are members of the industry's major multi-employer bargaining group, the Bituminous Coal Operators' Association (BCOA). Two Peabody Holding subsidiaries, Peabody Coal Company and Eastern Associated Coal Corp., are members of BCOA, which is attempting to reach a new labor agreement with the UMWA.
 Engelhardt said that the BCOA has sought changes in the labor agreement to make UMWA mines competitive. In exchange, job opportunities were offered to furloughed UMWA miners -- not only at BCOA company mines, but also at mines operated by non-union affiliate companies. To date, however, UMWA leaders have rejected the proposal. Engelhardt urged the UMWA to return to the bargaining table with the BCOA negotiating team. He flatly rejected the idea that Peabody Holding Company negotiate separately with the UMWA.
 The European labor leaders who met with Engelhardt at the company's offices in St. Louis this morning were Enzo Friso, general secretary of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions; Peter Michalzik, general secretary of the Miners International Federation; Michael Boggs, general secretary of the International Federation of Chemical, Energy and General Workers' Unions; and David Lea, assistant general secretary of the Trades Unions Congress of Great Britain. A representative of the U.S. AFL-CIO, Vincent O'Brien, also attended.
 -0- 7/15/93
 /CONTACT: Gayla Hoffman of Peabody Holding Company, 314-342-3400/


CO: Peabody Holding Company, Inc. ST: Missouri IN: MNG SU:

MP -- NY088 -- 2149 07/15/93 16:00 EDT
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Date:Jul 15, 1993
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