Judge sides with union workers in case against Massey

By Greg Collard

gcollard@wvbpubcast.org

An administrative law judge has sided with union workers in a labor relations complaint against Massey Energy and a subsidiary. The case concerns what used to be called the Cannelton Mine in eastern Kanawha County.

In 2004, Horizon Natural Resources of Ashland, Kentucky, laid off about 250 workers at the mine after a federal bankruptcy judge allowed the company to void its union contracts. That judge also allowed Horizon to drop about $800 million in health and pension obligations so that it could sell several union and non-union mines as part of bankruptcy proceedings.

Massey bought two of Horizon’s mines.One of them was Cannelton. But most of the laid-off Cannelton workers failed to regain their jobs. Massey claimed its hiring process was open, but a judge with the National Labor Relations Board disagrees.

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