UMWA, Alpha cut contract deal for 5 prep plants

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The United Mine Workers of America and
Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources have settled on new 5½-year
contracts for five former Massey Energy coal preparation plants.

Union President Cecil Roberts says 145 employees in West
Virginia and Kentucky have been working under the terms of a
contract that expired in 1998.

He says they'll get a substantial raise for the first time in 14
years when the deal goes into effect Jan. 1, plus annual wage
increases for the life of the agreement and a $1,000 bonus.

Workers also get shift differentials, sickness and accident
benefits, and better health care benefits.

Roberts says Massey refused to deal with the workers when they
were represented by the union, but Alpha is taking a new approach
to its workers.

Alpha didn't immediately comment.

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