UMWA-Patriot agreement avoids bitter struggle - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

UMWA-Patriot agreement avoids bitter struggle

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  • Transition team must act with urgency

    Transition team must act with urgency

    Friday, December 16 2016 6:00 AM EST2016-12-16 11:00:16 GMT

    Governor-elect Jim Justice’s policy committees seem to be made up of some of the state’s best minds. Dr. Clay Marsh with West Virginia University Hospitals; Bill Ihlenfeld, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District; Richard Adams of United Bank; Dave Arnold with Adventures on the Gorge; a host of other intelligent, qualified, inventive people who understand the challenges our state faces. 

    Governor-elect Jim Justice’s policy committees seem to be made up of some of the state’s best minds. Dr. Clay Marsh with West Virginia University Hospitals; Bill Ihlenfeld, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District; Richard Adams of United Bank; Dave Arnold with Adventures on the Gorge; a host of other intelligent, qualified, inventive people who understand the challenges our state faces. 

  • Chief of staff brings needed experience to the Justice team

    Chief of staff brings needed experience to the Justice team

    Friday, December 9 2016 6:00 AM EST2016-12-09 11:00:15 GMT

    This week, Governor-elect Jim Justice announced that Nick Casey, a long-time lobbyist, former congressional candidate, former state Democratic Party chairman and a fixture in West Virginia’s political scene, will serve as the Justice administration’s chief of staff.

    This week, Governor-elect Jim Justice announced that Nick Casey, a long-time lobbyist, former congressional candidate, former state Democratic Party chairman and a fixture in West Virginia’s political scene, will serve as the Justice administration’s chief of staff.

  • Opportunity makes WV workers happy

    Opportunity makes WV workers happy

    Friday, December 2 2016 6:00 AM EST2016-12-02 11:00:19 GMT

    As you’ll read in “The Buzz” in this week’s edition, Sokanu, a company that bills itself as “a career discovery platform,” recently released a study that indicated the happiest workers live in Hawaii. Working on a tropical island that boasts breathtaking natural beauty, stunning beaches and awe-inspiring mountain vistas should not come as a surprise. 

    As you’ll read in “The Buzz” in this week’s edition, Sokanu, a company that bills itself as “a career discovery platform,” recently released a study that indicated the happiest workers live in Hawaii. Working on a tropical island that boasts breathtaking natural beauty, stunning beaches and awe-inspiring mountain vistas should not come as a surprise. 

Thankfully, it looks like the United Mine Workers of America and Patriot Coal have come to an agreement on retirees' health care benefits. Earlier this year, a federal bankruptcy judge allowed the company to throw out previously negotiated union contracts and significantly reduce benefits. This week, both the UMWA and Patriot confirmed that a settlement has been reached and will now be taken to union members for ratification. Details of the proposal have not been announced, but both UMWA President Cecil Roberts and Patriot President and CEO Ben Hatfield said in separate statements that each side came together and worked hard to find common ground.

This seems to be a pleasant end to what was an incredibly acrimonious situation and one that had many worried about employer obligations. Patriot was right to come back to the bargaining table, and UMWA leaders showed they're willing to work for their members and ensure that promises made are promises kept. Developing a workable, lasting solution made sense for all involved. Retirees get to keep their benefits and Patriot claims this will put it on solid footing for the future. Rather than continue to drag this out and create uncertainty for everyone, we laud both sides for coming together and hammering out a deal.

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