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EASTERN ASSOCIATED, FIVE OTHER COAL OPERATORS REQUEST NATIONWIDE INJUNCTION AGAINST UMWA VIOLENCE, INTIMIDATION

 CHARLESTON, W.Va., July 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Eastern Associated Coal Corp. and five other Bituminous Coal Operators' Association (BCOA) member companies have asked the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to seek a nationwide injunction against escalating violence and intimidation by the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) in its labor dispute with the BCOA, it was announced today.
 Eastern Associated was joined in its action by its affiliate, Peabody Coal Company, and Arch of Illinois, Arch of West Virginia, Daltex Coal Corp. and Hobet Mining, Inc.
 In their request, which was filed Friday, the companies asked the NLRB to seek an injunction against the UMWA in the federal courts because of the widespread pattern of the UMWA's illegal activities, which have affected employees and operations in Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana and West Virginia.
 "Only a message sent with power and true commitment can be strong enough to stop the UMWA's yet unabated illegal abuse of employees," the six companies said in their request.
 In commenting on the request, Easter Associated spokesperson Patrick Gallagher said, "The UMWA must understand that violence and intimidation do not produce job security.
 "Real job security can only be produced by an agreement that enables UMWA mines to operate competitively in a coal market that is increasingly dominated by highly productive non-union mines.
 "If the UMWA is truly interested in job security for its members, it will put a stop to the violence and return to the negotiations it walked away from May 3."
 Earlier this month, Eastern Associated filed a series of unfair labor practice charges against the UMWA, in part for engaging in "coercive acts of violence and intimidation of employees and supervisors."
 The company's charges against the UMWA included destroying -- by arson and gunfire -- equipment that will cost over $2 million to replace; damaging vehicles with baseball bats; using a gun to threaten vendors attempting to cross a picket line; rock throwing that resulted in injuries to supervisors; and destroying electrical power transformers.
 In one of the most serious examples of the daily violence against Eastern Associated employees and facilities, an electrical transformer at the company's Tygart River mine, near Fairmont, W.Va., was disabled by gunfire overnight Wednesday. This crippled the facility's system of pumps used to control mine water, creating potentially hazardous flood conditions, the company said.
 The companies emphasized in their request that the UMWA continues to act "in flagrant and continuous contempt" of an order by the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that strictly defines the type of activity in which the union is permitted to engage. That order was issued following the UMWA's violent strikes against A.T. Massey Coal Company in 1985 and Pittston Coal Group in 1989.
 The UMWA was also fined $52 million by a Virginia state court for violence during its 1989 strike against Pittston. With interest, the fines now amount to approximately $65 million. The fine was upheld by the Virginia Supreme Court in January, and is now before the U.S. Supreme Court.
 -0- 7/6/93
 /CONTACT: Patrick Gallagher or Mike Herron for Eastern Associated, 304-340-1710/


CO: Eastern Associated Coal Corp.; Bituminous Coal Operators'
 Association; United Mine Workers of America ST: West Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois IN: MNG SU:


KC-MJ -- PG010 -- 8810 07/06/93 17:36 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 6, 1993
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