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Front Page » November 11, 2003 » Local News » Mine Responds
Published 4,851 days ago

Mine Responds

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The saga continues at the CW Mining Company, company spokesman, Charles Reynolds said that the blue tent at the end of the road was gone and there hadn't been anyone there since Friday. Reynolds said a complaint had been filed against the UMWA with the National Labor Relations Board by the International Association of United Workers Union; the exclusive bargaining unit between the CW Mining Company and its employees. The mine has been sent a letter by the UMWA which stated the UMWA was withdrawing its request to collectively bargain with the mine. Chris Grundvig is the local president of the International Association of United Workers Union. The UMWA has been accused of unfair labor practices by trying to collective bargain at a mine with an existing union.

Reynolds said that the other issues pertaining to the complaint the UMWA filed against the Co-op Mine are still being reviewed by the NLRB as to whether a hearing will take place. The board is currently investigating and gathering information to aid in their decision making process.

Reynolds said, "We are currently only operating one section of the mine, versus the two sections we were mining before. But, things are running normally and we have hired 15-20 new miners. A few of the miners that quit have come back to work and no one was ever locked out. After the incident first happened with the fired miner, then we did have the gate closed between shift changes when nobody was on the surface. We were concerned about possible vandalism and had the gate closed, but it was open during shift changes. A few of the supervisors worked increased hours the first few weeks, but we are running on a fairly normal schedule now.

"Our miners are not in danger and we have a good safety record.

"MSHA has inspected and monitored the places where the striking miners had complaints and they have found no abnormal conditions.

"Our safety record is better than the national average.

"When a new miner is hired the wages are reviewed with that miner and they know what to expect. These inexperienced miners would have difficulty getting a job with another mining company and we give workers a chance to gain experience. Other mines have hired our workers and commented on how well trained they were. Our trained workers have the opportunity for higher wages as they increase their experience and performance.

"We will continue to operate as we have been under the existing contract with no immediate projected changes. We do offer medical insurance where the company pays half and the employees pay half and this is similar to what other companys offer," said Reynolds.

One of the complaints the female miners had against the mine was the lack of separate shower facilities. Reynolds said that the company offered to make alternate shower arrangements with the females and they responded that they just needed a place to change and would shower at home.

Reynolds said they would abide by any decisions made by the NLRB and respond accordingly.

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