Union Workers Have Ratification Vote Today

The nation's largest miners' union said a proposed settlement with Patriot Coal would restore most wage cuts the company had sought as part of its bankruptcy reorganization. Members of the United Mine Workers of America heard details this week about the settlement reached last week with St. Louis-based Patriot. Some 1,800 current or laid-off Patriot workers in West Virginia and Kentucky will be eligible to cast a ballot today during the ratification vote. The union said the proposed settlement includes restoration of all but $1 per hour in wage cuts. Wages would increase annually by 50 cents an hour starting in January 2015, monthly premiums for health care benefits would be eliminated, pension benefits for thousands of current retirees would be maintained and current active UMW members would continue earning pension credit.