Judge: Coal production company can break contract with union
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal judge has ruled that a coal production company can break its contract with a union in order to reorganize its finances.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports (http://bit.ly/1Tb1se3) a judge granted the motion from Alpha Natural Resources on the United Mine Workers contract Monday.
The company filed a petition in March with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Richmond, asking to be able to modify the company's obligations for retiree health care benefits.
Alpha said it needed to cut costs in order to survive the ongoing decline in the coal industry.
Company lawyers said that the company spent about $53 million on health care benefits for union employees last year.
UMW President Cecil Roberts says the union is still trying to work out a deal with Alpha to resolve the issue.
(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)