PITTSBURGH – Several coal companies are seeking to vacate a union's decision in a dispute.

Helvetia Coal Co., Laurel Run Mining Co., Island Creek Coal Co. and CONSOL Amonate Facility LLC filed a complaint on Oct. 31 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against United Mine Workers of America, International Union seeking to vacate an arbitration award.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs allege that they terminated their 2011 National Bituminous Coal Wage Agreement in December 2016 with the defendant. In November 2016, the defendant filed a resolution of dispute (ROD) with the trustees of the UMWA 1993 Benefit Plan, the suit states, and the plaintiffs' representative responded that the trustees did not have the authority to resolve disputes after the 2011 NBCWA was terminated.

The plaintiffs allege they did not agree to allocate the authority to the trustees to decide any disputes after the expiration of the NBCWA.

The plaintiffs seek vacate the Oct. 31 decision in ROD No. 11-0143, declare that the arbitration process provided is not applicable to post-termination retiree health benefit disputes that arise after Dec. 31, 2016, and any further relief this court grants. They are represented by Michael J. Sweeney of CONSOL Energy Inc. in Canonsburg.

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania case number 2:17-cv-01417-CB

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