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EASTERN ASSOCIATED PRESIDENT ANNOUNCES MEETING WITH UMWA DISTRICT OFFICIAL

 CHARLESTON, W.Va., Feb. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Eastern Associated Coal Corp.'s (EACC) President Peter B. Lilly today announced that a meeting has been scheduled with United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) District 17 President Bob Phalen to discuss EACC's fulfillment of customer contract obligations.
 Lilly received a request on Wednesday from Phalen, faxed to him and to the media, asking for a meeting to discuss cancelled coal sales and to "properly evaluate this situation." Eastern Associated responded by the end of the day, agreeing to meet with the UMWA official.
 "We are encouraged by the prospect of a face-to-face meeting to discuss the loss of coal sales during this selective strike," Lilly said. "We intend to discuss with UMWA officials the complexities of securing and retaining coal sales agreements in a highly competitive global market.
 "We are losing business every day, not to mention the precious time that is being wasted as EACC employees and the state of West Virginia continue to bear the burden of the UMWA's selective strike.
 "Many of our customers have expressed significant concerns about our ability to fulfill orders," Lilly said. "For example, ARMCO Steel Company, L.P. wrote in a Feb. 15 letter:
 " We sympathize with your current situation, but without the absolute written assurance requested herein, ASC must and will immediately place coal orders with third parties to supply our requirements.'"
 Lilly said that thus far in the strike, Eastern Associated has already lost more than 100,000 tons in sales which cannot be made up.
 "We stand to lose many more sales in the immediate future. Many customers in the foreign export market depend on Eastern Associated's ability to deliver contracted quantities of our premium quality metallurgical coal. Ocean-going vessels are scheduled months in advance and customers must be assured that coal will be available at the port," Lilly added.
 Lilly said that future coal contracts also are in jeopardy because of the UMWA's selective strike against Peabody and Eastern Associated.
 "EACC is now in the process of negotiating for the 1993 export coal year starting April 1, 1993, and ending March 31, 1994. This export business is renegotiated on an annual basis. It comprises millions of tons of UMWA-produced coal mined from Eastern Associated's operations in West Virginia," Lilly explained.
 "We are particularly concerned about jeopardizing our relationships with Hoogovens (Holland), ATIC (France), British Steel, and Swedish Steel, among others as well as customers such as ARMCO Steel, Inland Steel, and LTV Steel."
 The UMWA's selective strike against Eastern Associated Coal Corp. and Peabody Coal Company began on Feb. 2. The Bituminous Coal Operators' Association, the legal bargaining unit for Eastern Associated and Peabody, has made four separate offers during the past two weeks to the union in an effort to resume talks at the bargaining table.
 "We need to get back to the table to negotiate a competitive contract so our miners can return to work," said Lilly.
 -0- 2/18/93
 /CONTACT: Terry Whitt for Eastern Associated Coal Corp., 304-344-0300/


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


DM-KC -- PG009 -- 8189 02/18/93 19:01 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 18, 1993
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