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Economy & Business

Patriot Coal Denies Walking Out Of Talks With Mine Workers Union

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

Updated 6:15 p.m.

UMWA tweeted this afternoon that they and Patriot have "agreed to return to the bargaining table next week."

Original Story:

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."

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