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EASTERN ASSOCIATED COAL, PEABODY COAL FILE SUIT AGAINST UMWA OVER WORK SLOWDOWNS IN WEST VIRGINIA

 CLARKSBURG, W.Va., June 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Eastern Associated Coal Corp. and its affiliate, Peabody Coal Company, filed a joint lawsuit against the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) in U.S. District Court here today.
 The companies are seeking damages for work slowdowns by UMWA members at three West Virginia mines -- Federal No. 2 in Monongalia County; and Wells, owned by Eastern Associated Coal in Boone County; and Big Mountain No. 16, owned by Peabody Coal Company in Boone County -- during the 60-day contract extension in March and April, after UMWA-represented employees had returned to their jobs.
 "The UMWA started violating the extension agreement form day one," said Patrick Gallagher, spokesperson for Eastern Associated Coal. "UMWA officials had specifically agreed in writing that the union would not engage in slowdowns, and we believe they should have kept their word."
 Gallagher pointed out that the UMWA's actions took place at mines that are facing stiff competition from non-union mines in the United States, as well as a resurgence of competition from coal producers in other parts of the world.
 At Federal No. 2, the companies' lawsuit charges that the UMWA International, District 31 and Local 1570 impeded work. At Wells, the UMWA International, District 17 and Local 781 engaged in similar activity, as did the UMWA International, District 17 and Local 6246 at Big Mountain No. 16.
 The companies also point out in their lawsuit that the union prepared for the slowdown by publishing and distributing a booklet entitled, "The Inside Game -- How to Put Pressure on Your Employer While Staying on the Job." The booklet says, in part, "When...workers conduct a tight `work to rule' campaign, the economic results can be stunning."
 The contract extension ended a 30-day strike against the two companies that began Feb. 2, after the UMWA's labor contract with the Bituminous Coal Operators' Association (BCOA) expired.
 -0- 6/9/93
 /CONTACT: Patrick Gallagher for Eastern Associated Coal, 304-340-1710/


CO: Eastern Associated Coal Corp.; Peabody Coal Company; United Mine
 Workers of America ST: West Virginia IN: MNG OIL SU:


KC-DB -- PG016 -- 0369 06/09/93 18:52 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 9, 1993
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