“We have reached prospective collective bargaining agreements in principal with both Blackhawk Mining and the Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund (VCLF), the two entities that are currently the only bidders for the properties of the bankrupt Patriot Coal.
“These prospective agreements would not have been reached without the strength and dedication of our membership. Once again, active and retired UMWA members stepped up and made it clear that they wanted to protect UMWA jobs and retiree health care, and that’s what we’ve been able to do. Patriot wanted to sell these properties free and clear without the union – but instead we have prospective agreements with the only two bidders for these properties.
“There is still more work to do on the actual language of these prospective agreements, and there are several more legal hurdles that must be resolved in bankruptcy court before we would be able to take these prospective agreements to our membership for ratification. Should we clear those hurdles and move forward with ratification, no details of these prospective agreements will be publicly released prior to our members’ ratification vote.
“Because there are still details to be worked out and the legal process needs to be finished, it is not yet clear when that vote will be. We will keep our local union leadership and membership fully informed as we move forward in the coming days.”