Patriot Coal Denies Walking Out Of Talks With Mine Workers Union
Updated 6:15 p.m.
UMWA tweeted this afternoon that they and Patriot have "agreed to return to the bargaining table next week."
St. Louis-based Patriot Coal officials deny that the company "walked out" of talks with the United Mine Workers of America earlier this week.
In a statement released late Wednesday Patriot president and CEO Bennett Hatfield called the UMWA’s assertion "inaccurate and distorted."
Last month a federal bankruptcy judge approved Patriot’s plan to change the collective bargaining agreement.
Union officials said Wednesday that Patriot officials walked out of talks and indicated that the court-approved plan would take effect July 1.
The UMWA plans a vote before then, which could lead to a strike.
In Patriot’s statement Hatfield said a strike would "put the company on the path to liquidation," which would be the "worst possible outcome for UMWA employees and retirees."