UMWA workers at Patriot operations ratify pact

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Members of the United Mine Workers of America have voted to ratify a settlement with bankrupt Patriot Coal.

The union said in a statement Friday night that current or laid-off Patriot workers in West Virginia and Kentucky voted 85 percent to 15 percent in favor of the agreement reached late last week.

Some 1,800 members from 13 locals were voting.

Patriot said it wants the company to survive, and union President Cecil Roberts had said the deal may let that happen.

The settlement would restore most wage cuts that Patriot had sought as part of its reorganization.

Roberts says the deal also reduces the restoration of some benefits and the continuation of others.

Pension benefits for thousands of current retirees would be maintained, and active employees would continue earning pension credit.


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