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PITTSTON RELEASES STATEMENT ON UMWA PENSION AND BENEFIT TRUST LITIGATION

PITTSTON RELEASES STATEMENT ON UMWA PENSION AND BENEFIT TRUST LITIGATION
 STAMFORD, Conn., Feb. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pittston Company (NYSE: PCO) said today that on Jan. 31 the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued an order granting summary judgment in favor of the United Mine Workers of America Pension and Benefit Trusts and against Pittston and its Coal Group subsidiaries (the PCG Companies), as well as two other coal companies, directing them to contribute to the funds as required by the National Bituminous Coal Wage Agreement of 1988 to which none of these defendants was or is a party.
 Pittston and the PCG Companies believe the decision is wrong on both substantive and procedural grounds, and accordingly intend to vigorously contest it. The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), a participant in this litigation, supported Pittston's position.
 No judgment or order specifying monetary relief has yet been entered. Pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement between the PCG Companies and the UMWA, since 1990 the PCG Companies have paid contributions in excess of $17 million for pension and health benefits for their retirees, which was offered to the trustees and rejected. That money is currently being held in an escrow account. Although Pittston has not completed an estimate of the monetary ramifications of the court's decision, the PCG Companies would be liable for additional past contributions of approximately $6 million to $10 million, exclusive of interest and liquidated damages, as well as up to some $8 million annually in additional ongoing costs, a considerable portion of which would be used to provide benefits to retirees of other companies.
 The thrust of the decision is that all parties to the 1978 National Bituminous Coal Wage Agreement, or who signed any subsequent National Bituminous Coal Wage Agreement negotiated by the Bituminous Coal Operators Association (BCOA), are bound in perpetuity to make contributions to the trusts based on the rates negotiated by the BCOA, even though they neither selected the BCOA to represent them in the bargaining, participated in the negotiations nor signed the 1988 agreement. The PCG Companies had withdrawn from the BCOA and had negotiated their own contract with a UMWA covering all of their obligations to contribute to the pension and benefit funds. The PCG Companies believe that this court ruling interferes both with that contract and with federal labor policy in the collective bargaining arena. Moreover, the court itself acknowledged that for 10 years the Trusts had neither enforced the clause at issue nor interpreted it as they do now, but in fact had adopted a diametrically opposing position. While professing to be "greatly troubled" by this, the court nonetheless chose to disregard the legal and factual consequences applicable to such a radical change of position.
 The Pittston Company is a diversified firm engaged in mining and marketing bituminous coal through the Pittston Coal Group companies and Pyxis Resources Inc., mineral exploration and development through Pittston Mineral Ventures Company, global air freight services through Burlington Air Express Inc., security transportation through Brink's, Incorporated and home security through Brink's Home Security, Inc.
 -0- 2/3/92
 /CONTACT: William J. Byrne Jr. of The Pittston Company, 203-978-5274/
 (PCO) CO: The Pittston Company ST: Connecticut IN: MNG SU:


CK-TM -- NY092 -- 6380 02/03/92 17:02 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 3, 1992
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