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PEABODY COAL COMPANY FILES SUIT OVER STRIKES, WORK SLOWDOWNS BY UMWA

 SPRINGFIELD, Ill., June 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Peabody Coal Company filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court here today seeking damages from the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) for strikes and work slowdowns suffered at four of the company's Illinois mines and facilities during a 60-day labor contract extension in March and April.
 "In the extension agreement, the UMWA officers specifically promised in writing that the union would not engage in strikes or slowdowns," said Ryan Tew, general counsel for Peabody Coal, headquartered in Henderson, Ky. "But before the ink was dry on the contract, the UMWA started violating it. We intend to hold the union to their word.
 "In the current negotiations, the union is saying trust us and we'll enter into a long-term agreement; however, they can't even honor a 60- day agreement.
 "I'm confident we will be able to recover millions of dollars in damages from the union," Tew said. "This is the first in a series of similar lawsuits we plan to file in the coming days." The UMWA's labor contract with the Bituminous Coal Operators' Association (BCOA) expired on February 1. Peabody Coal is a BCOA member and the union went on strike against the company from February 2 through March 3, returning to work after agreeing with BCOA to a 60-day contract extension.
 As part of the extension agreement, the UMWA agreed not to engage "in any strike or impeding of work." Despite that agreement, the UMWA International, UMWA District 12, and UMWA Locals 1602, 2412, 1820 and 1148 impeded work and substantially reduced production at three underground mines -- Eagle No. 2 near Shawneetown, Ill.; the Marissa and Baldwin mines, both located near Marissa, Ill.; and the Randolph Preparation Plant, also located near Marissa. In addition, the union engaged in a strike from April 8 through April 12 at the Baldwin Mine and in a strike April 5 and 6 at the Randolph Preparation Plant.
 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 company said in its suit. The booklet describes how workers can bring psychological as well as economic pressure on their employers.
 -0- 6/8/93
 /CONTACT: Joe Klingl, of Peabody, 502-827-6935 or 6936/


CO: Peabody Coal Company ST: Kentucky IN: MNG SU:

MP -- NY075 -- 6691 06/08/93 16:21 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 8, 1993
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