Charles Reynolds, manager from the CW Mining Company said that company officials have signed the settlement agreement the National Labor Relations Board proposed to the mining company and the United Mine Workers.
Reynolds explained there are actually two settlement agreements. If the settlement was not agreed to by the two parties involved, CW Mining and the UMWA, then it would turn into an order by the NLRB.
The UMWA was ordered to a hiatus of picketing at the Bear Canyon Road on SR-31.
Reynolds said the matter was basically settled without any ruling or admission of wrong doing on the part of CW Mining Company. The mining company has agreed to post a 60 day notice informing miners of their bargaining rights as employees. Also their rights to form or join a union and to act collectively to form such an agreement.
CW Mining will immediately offer all employees involved in the strike reinstatement at their former jobs with the same pay and benefits. The striking miners have until July 6 to accept the offer. Any miner who accepts the offer will be reinstated and any who choose not to accept will no longer be considered an employee by the NLRB.
Reynolds said the issue of the back pay has not been settled yet and the amount of back pay if any will be determined in the courts.
Reynolds said the settlement doesn't hold either party at fault, but is taking care of the workers and allowing them to come back to work if they choose. An offer has also been made to Bill Estrada. Of the 71 original miners/strikers, Reynolds was not sure how many workers would return. He said quite a few of the workers had found other jobs, including about a dozen who had returned previously to the mine. The company sent a letter out to each of the 71 miners, informing them of their right to return to work and of those letters he had received three affirmative responses as of July 2.
Reynolds said it is an unconditional return to work and the miners are coming back at the same wage.
The UMWA has petitioned for a vote on whether or not to form a union at the CW Mining Company. A hearing on who can take part in the vote will be held in Price on July 20 in Price. The NLRB will determine the eligibility of the workers to engage in the vote.
The law states if a union has the support of 30 percent of the workers, they are entitled to request a vote. The vote will take place at the mine site sometime in August. Reynolds said if the vote is for the union then at that time, negotiations on wages would take place and the company will deal with that as it comes.