UMW Approves Contract; Gets Highest Pay Hike Since 1974

FAIRMONT, W.Va. (AP) - Members of the United Mine Workers on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a new five-year contract with the Bituminous Coal Operators Association that includes the largest pay increase since 1974.

The union said 80 percent of the UMW members who voted approved the contract, which covers only workers at unionized subsidiaries of Pittsburgh-based Consol Energy. The union would not release the vote total.

Union miners will receive a 20 percent across-the-board salary increase over the life of the contract, which will take effect Jan. 1. They also will receive a $1,000 bonus immediately. Future retirees' pensions will increase by $10 per month. Health benefits were maintained with no increase in co-payments.

The UMW still is negotiating with other coal companies such as St. Louis-based Peabody Energy, West Virginia-based Bluestone Coal, Brookwood and Ala.-based Jim Walters Resources Inc. UMW President Cecil Roberts said the contract will be presented to the other companies between now and mid-January.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved


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