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FEDERAL JUDGE CITES UMWA WITH CONTEMPT; ORDERS LARGE FINES IF VIOLATIONS CONTINUE

 CHARLESTON, W.Va., Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia today ordered large fines against the United Mine Workers international, district and local unions if they are found guilty of any additional incidents of civil contempt of a preliminary injunction issued by the court on Sept. 3.
 In issuing the order, Federal Judge Dennis R. Knapp found "clear and convincing evidence" that the UMWA unions "are in civil contempt." The citation represents the strongest judicial steps taken to date in the UMWA strike. The order was issued at the conclusion of two and a half days of hearings that were requested by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) District 9.
 During the hearings, witnesses testified about repeated acts of violence, sabotage, threats and intimidation by UMWA strikers. The UMWA has been conducting selected strikes against member companies of the Bituminous Coal Operators' Association (BCOA) since February.
 Eastern Associated Coal Corp., one of the BCOA companies, said it is "pleased with Judge Knapp's order" and that it "will begin the process of restoring a sense of law and order" to the coalfields. "It's significant," the company added, "that the UMWA did not present a single factual witness who could deny that the violence occurred."
 Judge Knapp set fines for any future violation at $50,000 per incident for the international union, $25,000 per incident for the district union, and $10,000 for the local unions.
 In addition to the contempt citation against the unions, the court banned six UMWA members -- Harrison Jackson, Frederick Eugene Saunders, Franklin Prue, William Fluharty, Donald Vance and Larry McKnight -- from their picket lines.
 The unions also were ordered by the court to reimburse the NLRB and the U.S. Marshal Service for the costs incurred both during the proceedings "and enforcement of the court order."
 The UMWA was fined $52 million by a Virginia state court for violence during its 1989 strike against Pittston Coal Group. With interest, the fines now amount to about $65 million. In January, the fines were upheld by the Virginia Supreme Court. The U.S. Department of Justice announced this summer that it intends to ask the Supreme Court to uphold the fines.
 -0- 10/29/93
 /CONTACT: Terry Whitt or Mike Herron, 304-340-1710, for Eastern Associated Coal Corporation/


CO: Eastern Associated Coal Corporation; United Mine Workers ST: West Virginia IN: MNG SU:

CK -- NY106 -- 8782 10/29/93 19:18 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 29, 1993
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