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UMWA SPEAKS OUT ON YET ANOTHER 'MISLEADING' COAL INDUSTRY NEWS RELEASE

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- An announcement this afternoon by a coal industry official is being shrugged off by a United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) spokesman as "the kind of hype that gives public relations people a bad reputation."
 UMWA spokesman Jim Grossfeld was reacting to an announcement by Thomas Hoffman, public relations officer of the Bituminous Coal Operator's Association (BCOA), that the multi-employer industry group had begun to assemble information requested by the union for contract negotiations.
 "What Mr. Hoffman doesn't say in his news release is that the coal operators have said that they will provide the information only if the union agrees to keep it confidential," Grossfeld said.
 "In essence what the BCOA coal companies have said is that we can have the information, provided we give up our right to use it to enforce a contract after it is negotiated," said Grossfeld, adding "we have a legal right to that information without any string attached."
 Paraphrasing UMWA President Richard Trumka, Grossfeld said that such an agreement "would create a legal loophole big enough to drive a coal truck through."
 "I think the question journalists should ask Mr. Hoffman is exactly what it is the coal operators have to hide," Grossfeld added. The UMWA spokesman pointed out that another multi-employer coal industry bargaining group, the Independent Bituminous Coal Bargaining Alliance (IBCBA) "provided the information the union asked for without the preconditions sought by Mr. Hoffman's employer."
 The information requested by the UMWA regards corporate structure, land ownership, health care costs and other topics which Grossfeld said "were essential for the union to have accurate information on in order to represent our members in any contract negotiations."
 -0- 2/26/93
 /CONTACT: Jim Grossfeld of the United Mine Workers of America, 202- 842-7240/


CO: United Mine Workers of America; Bituminous Coal Operator's
 Association; Independent Bituminous Coal Bargaining Alliance ST: District of Columbia IN: MNG SU:


KD-DC -- DC028 -- 1038 02/26/93 17:35 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 26, 1993
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