OAK GROVE MINERS IDLED AFTER CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS SOUR

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Hundreds of miners are at home today instead of at their jobs with Seneca Coal Resources in Jefferson County.

United Mine Workers of America members said the Oak Grove Mine was idled Monday evening after employees voted against a labor contract proposed by Seneca.

Retired and current miners said the contract included stipulations like drastic pay cuts, insurance reductions and less paid time off.

Seneca took over for Cliffs Natural Resources at the beginning of the year, and 250 Oak Grove miners were laid off during the transition.

Today, WVUA 23 was told the only employees left working are the 36 assigned to the preparation plant and surface electricians.

Former UMWA Local 2331 President Steward Presley said workers were told by Seneca that they would idle the mine if the contract didn’t pass, but the whole situation was lose-lose for the miners.

“This contract that they’ve proposed is one of the worst contracts I’ve ever seen in my 40 years and seven months of working,” he said. “It takes away everything the old people have worked for. Blood and tears. You take away your insurance and you’ve got a lot of people who have small children who are always going to get sick. It’s just unreal what they are wanting to do to these people.”

WVUA 23 reached out to Seneca Coal Resources but has not heard back.

 

 

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