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ESCALATING UMWA VIOLENCE SHOWS UNION PUTS ITSELF ABOVE LAW, EASTERN ASSOCIATED SAYS

 CHARLESTON, W.Va., Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Eastern Associated Coal Corp. employees, contractors and facilities were the victims of escalating strike-related violence, sabotage and intimidation last night, the company reported today.
 "The level of lawlessness is clearly out of hand," said Terry Whitt, Eastern Associated spokesperson. "The United Mine Workers (UMWA) has put itself above the law.
 "I'm afraid that this mob activity by strikers will soon bring more bloodshed," he said. "Order must be restored quickly."
 Whitt said last night's incidents were the latest in the rapidly growing number of UMWA violations of the preliminary injunction imposed on the union Sept. 3, by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, in Charleston, at the request of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
 Whitt said the incidents also add to the compelling evidence for similar action by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia in Clarksburg. Last week, the NLRB asked that court to impose a temporary restraining order on illegal UMWA activity in northern West Virginia.
 The company said last night's illegal activity by UMWA pickets included four major incidents at Eastern Associated operations in Boone County.
 -- At the Wells Complex, UMWA pickets hurled pipebombs -- plastic pipe filled with explosives -- at a security guardhouse. One pipebomb exploded near the structure, without causing damage. The company has asked the U.S. Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to conduct a full investigation.
 -- At Colony Bay, three company security guards, who were investigating a pile of railroad ties on a railroad trestle, were attacked by six UMWA pickets. The pickets had earlier ordered the guards away from the site. The trestle, which passes over a road used by company security guards patrolling Eastern Associated property, has been the site of previous ambushes by pickets, who drop cinder blocks or railroad ties onto vehicles passing below.
 State police were called and responded; however, immediately after state police left, approximately 30 UMWA pickets broke through a gate onto company property and vandalized a guardhouse after driving security personnel away. The guardhouse, along with radio and other equipment that was inside, was virtually destroyed, the company reported.
 -- At the Matts Creek Portal to Montcoal No. 7 mine, UMWA pickets hurled glass jars filled with paint at company vehicles and hit them with pellets, rocks and projectiles. When the drivers stopped to try to clear the windshields, three pickets brandishing axes approached and threatened them and forced them to leave.
 Eastern Associated has reported the incidents to the West Virginia State Police and has notified the National Labor Relations Board regarding the severe violence that has occurred since the preliminary injunction.
 -0- 9/14/93
 /CONTACT: Terry Whitt of Eastern Associated, or Mike Herron for Eastern Associated, 304-340-1710/


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

CD-KC -- PG010 -- 1903 09/14/93 16:11 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 14, 1993
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