Will Highland Mine go on Strike?

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yeah

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#21
Mar 28, 2011
 

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Job wrote:
<quoted text>If you are running so much coal, why did Patriot IL Basin operations with its flagship union operation Highland leading the way lose money last quarter? Guess what, if UMWA makes union mines pay $20/hr for the retirement fund of older UMWA miners, the high profit met operations in Central App. may make it, but I can assure you Highland will go under if this happens. Guess what all the workers after 2007 whose hours are going to pay these retires will not even qualify for this retirement plan. Also, your UMWA loving Obama lovers are trying to kill coal first with cap and trade. Now they cannot get cap and trade past so they are just doing it through the EPA. Once carbon is taxed, coal plants will shift more to natural gas. Demand for coal over time goes down, coal prices fall and only the strong mines will survive and by looking at Patriot IL basin numbers, it sure as hell will not be Highland and Patriot operations. I have never understood why you union lovers support Obama? I guess you figure once they do shut your operation down, govt will take care of you and you would probably rather sit home and get a govt check like a large percent of the other Obama supporters.
First off I don't know where you are getting your figures because in the last six months we have ran record tonnage out there. This exact same post has been made about three times under different names I believe you are a boss for alliance trying to deter people away from highland. You can pull the wool over some peoples eyes but not all of them. When I'm 62 I'll be setting back with a nice pension and medical card. When you are 62 you will just have a broke back and a 401k that your taking q chance on and you will have to pay for your own medical. I'm working at highland til the shut the doors it might be next year or it might be 20 yrs from now because we've got the coal. The only thing I agree with you on is $20/hr for the retirement fund. No company in their right mind will pay this even Cecil Roberts knows that. They are asking for a government bail out similar to what the car companies and mortgage companies received. Supposedly this will not effect the deficit. We will make a large amount more per ton in 2012 because our long term contracts with TVA will be over. We are already planning to go with another contract where we will receive $10 more per ton. So try to pull your wool over someone elses eyes because it's not working on me.
Jeff

Madisonville, KY

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#22
Mar 28, 2011
 
yeah wrote:
<quoted text>
First off I don't know where you are getting your figures because in the last six months we have ran record tonnage out there. This exact same post has been made about three times under different names I believe you are a boss for alliance trying to deter people away from highland. You can pull the wool over some peoples eyes but not all of them. When I'm 62 I'll be setting back with a nice pension and medical card. When you are 62 you will just have a broke back and a 401k that your taking q chance on and you will have to pay for your own medical. I'm working at highland til the shut the doors it might be next year or it might be 20 yrs from now because we've got the coal. The only thing I agree with you on is $20/hr for the retirement fund. No company in their right mind will pay this even Cecil Roberts knows that. They are asking for a government bail out similar to what the car companies and mortgage companies received. Supposedly this will not effect the deficit. We will make a large amount more per ton in 2012 because our long term contracts with TVA will be over. We are already planning to go with another contract where we will receive $10 more per ton. So try to pull your wool over someone elses eyes because it's not working on me.
Do you even take time, to review your company financial data and read its quarterly and annual reports? All of this data is online. Per annual report EBITDA for Patriot Appalachia Mines was 316 million and Illinois Basin only 1 million, now for net income or net loss, you do not want to see the Illinois Basin net loss number. That is good Highland will be able to get a little more for coal price in 2012 for they cannot sustain 2010 IL Basin numbers long term to keep these operations open. With current inflation costs the last 6 months, costs are going through the roof. In 2011 UMWA does not have the support union leaders think they have in this area. Ever think there are many in area that really do not care for UMWA and they are not management but actual miners? From having family that work in the mines, non union Alliance does pay more than union, my # could be wrong and let me know if they are? Highland (union) vs. next door Riverview (nonunion).
Highland $24.15/hr, Health Insurance 90/10, Retirement - miners hired after Jan 1 2007 no union Pension and no union Medical card during retirement and pay $1,000 dues.
Riverview $22.45/hr +$4/hr avg. production bonus hr/wage + safety bonuses + Christmas bonus, 100% Health Insurance for entire family, 4% company contribution into 401k regardless of employee contribution with 6% after 5yr, 7% after 10 yr and 8% after 15 yr.

If you go on the federal mine website and compare citations on hours worked, Highland is no safer. Highland has its issues with roof falls and inspectors with many citations just like any other mine. Prior post is right on UMWA and the govt. is NOT going to bail them out for it will have to go through the Republican congress. Due to decline in investments from the recession combined with the same shift to non union production by workers in mining that is happening in manufacturing, the UMWA pension is currently facing a major unfunded crisis. As stated, Union leaders tried to get a bailout from the government to fund this short fall, however, congress is not going to do this. Under upcoming union negotiations, the union is already requesting that Companies pick up the tab and contribute $20/hr. on top of each union workers hourly wage directly into the UMWA pension fund. Yes, your great leader, Cecil Roberts is asking this from union companies, it is his only hope of keeping your pension solvent. With Patriot already losing money with its Illinois Basin mines, this $20/hr union fee will bankrupt the operations in the IB. Thus, forcing them to close IB union mines in the area, keeping only the highly profitable met operations open in Appalachia.
Jeff

Madisonville, KY

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#23
Mar 28, 2011
 
Due pension crisis issue, there is a big push right now by the old union guys to organize mines in the area (with not much success), not because the old timers want to put down the fishing pole and would rather spend there day making phone calls and handing out pamphlets for the union on a cause they believe in, but because their pension check is fixing to be drastically reduced to nothing. Not that matters anyway for all non union mines today are set up in so many LLC’s, if you vote the union in – they close it and tell the miners the mine is closed and don’t come back. Six months later, it is opened back up with a whole new crew and different LLC. The UMWA system needs more union miners hours on the union books within the system for the possible $20/hr fee charged to the company (for a pension fund these new miners are not even entitled to). I am happy when your 62 you will be sitting back with your pension (but will pension still be there? For no govt bail out is coming) And what about the union miners that came in after 2007 – they do not get medical card and pension all they get to do is pay for yours from fees UMWA charges on their hourly time to company. Thus, if you are a young miner that does not really want to work and likes to call in all time - go union and pay the $1,000/yr union fee to get the protection they can provide you. But realize, as coal market cycles as it is does – your mine will be first to close in IL basin. If you are a hard worker that wants a mine that will be around until you retire in 20-30 years providing your kids more job security long term and does pay a few dollars a more an hour (when factoring per hour production bonus) go Alliance, Cline, Armstrong, etc. And yes, if Patriot has to pay 20/hr to the union pension which Roberts is pushing, this will put the IB operations under for they are already not making money as it is – look it up. Prior post is right and data is online, learn to read. If Obama gets his way on killing coal through the EPA and carbon tax and coal prices fall, only the strong will survive and it will not be the union Patriot IL Basin operations in this area. Why do you think Peabody got rid of these mines – Peabody did not want to deal with the UMWA bs red tape any longer.
yep

Beaver Dam, KY

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#24
Mar 28, 2011
 

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You are close but wrong. Pay is 24.91 per hour and that's not some bullish*t royalty that is your pay they can't take that from you. Alliance can take those royalties any time they want and will if the union is ever completely gone. Insurance is 100% for the whole family at no cost to you just the same as alliance. Also miners hired in after 2007 do not get a full medical card but you do get $3 per hour for every hour you work in a account that is used for health care after you retire. This is better than the $0 your company contributes to health care after retirement. Also miners hired after 2007 still receive a pension you are wrong about that. Like I said before I hope both of our mines are around for a long time. I have worked at both places and it is alot better here trust me. If you haven't worked for both it's hard to talk bad about something you know nothing about. If my mine shuts down I won't like it but I guarantee you the field I'm in and experience I have I can go to work the next day at any mine I would like. As far as the EPA there was a bill just passed that is going to limit there power I don't know the name of the bill. Also don't say never on the government bail out you don't know anymore than I do. Yes we have mainly republican majority now but with the crap they have pulled with the unions across the country look for it to swing back democratic in 2012 and pass the bill when we need it. Also the reason Peabody spun off patriot is mainly to get away from the union. Patriot was designed at first to fail but has showed they can make it on their own and do well. I think the main reason Peabody spun off patriot was all there interest over seas. They hardly have any mines left in the united states and they have alot of interest in china and austrailia because they can make alot more money due to less involvement by their governents. One more thing your wrong about only pay $850 a year union dues not $1000.
Jeff

Madisonville, KY

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#25
Mar 28, 2011
 
“yep”- I will say, I do admit when I am wrong on data. Per post did state was not completely sure on wage data for Highland. I have posted on a GE topix on my personal thoughts as well as facts of the union and issues GE face, and all those workers say is you’re an idiot with no counter points or facts. Thus, it is nice to actually have someone counter with thoughts and meaningful data/facts. With regard to the $4/hr avg. production bonus at Riverview, in the next 50 years the union could be phased out in the IL basin, however, there will always be union operations in met production in WV in my opinion and Alliance has operations in the App. Area. Thus, the threat will always be there. Also, have you seen Alliances profit and cash flow numbers the past 12-16 months with Riverview online and their a large amount older contracts cycling off around two years ago? The Alliance stock price in this period has gone from $30 to current $80 a share. With Tunnel Ridge, Gibson, and Seebree coming online over next two years, this growth and profit will continue. Thus, the threat of union in WV will always be on Alliance and with long term growth for Alliance - the $4/hr production wage along with safety bonuses and Christmas money are not going any where any time soon. Financial stability, balance sheet and P&L for ARLP looks very solid. Yes, if Obama gets his way with cap and trade and his EPA policies, coal prices will reverse over time and tank. After this and Alliance starts producing current Patriot IL basin profit numbers, your right, this $4/hr extra pay will be gone. However, in this event of drop in coal due to EPA, union Highland jobs will be at risk as well. This downward movement in coal due to these EPA policies is a huge threat to our mining jobs and could result in big layoffs in the IL Basin coal fields with only the strongest companies standing.

If the $3/hr medical for retirement is paid into a fund for just that employee’s name (kind of like a medical savings account)- this is appealing for new union employees. A concept I would like very much. However, just as some CEO’s of coal companies can be corrupt, there have been just as many or more corrupt union leaders over the years too. If these $3/hr medical funds are group all together, I do not trust them managing my retirement or my medical given current state of UMWA pension fund. Math is Math one can not ague the meaning of 2+2 like one can with law cases or the meaning of a bible passage. I do not know if you have seen or done the math on the UMWA Pension fund, but it will soon be insolvent. UMWA is worst shape than the federal government which for past three years US is spending 3 trillion and bringing in less than 2 trillion in tax revenue. This cannot continue in the US with right now currently a 13 trillion deficit which is a huge amount for every single tax payer. Inflation has started and is coming more. Value of dollar is falling. Soon when foreign countries like China slowly stop buying US T bills, interest rates on T bills have to rise to attract buyers. As this happens, US economy will have high interest rates combine this with $5 gas. All this spells that America is in trouble and there is a reason gold is at an old time high and will go higher. We are exiting one recession only to enter another. Like in WI, the party is over and we all have to tighten our belts and stop looking for the govt to bail us out or get a govt check. There will be a little social security left when I get this old,. But I likely will not be able to draw until I am 70 and the amount is going to be much much less. Thus, this is why I like my 401K - the fund is mine and invested how I want it invested. I control it and I do not like to rely on anyone else for my retirement.
Jeff

Madisonville, KY

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#26
Mar 28, 2011
 
On retirement for both union and non union miners, if a large number of miners would not buy $38,000 new trucks every five years, bass boat in drive way and wives that do not work and like to spend, and did not smoke or dip a can a day - they may have some money extra money on top of either UMWA pension for union miners or 401K plan for non union.

Your views are like a double edge sword in that you want to have one‘s cake and eat it too, for you want the Republican congress to pass the EPA bill through both houses to protect your job and protect coal prices from Obama and Democrat policy. Then you want these same Republicans to get beat next election cycle and maybe a new Democrat congress will bail out your pension fund? Guess what, there are huge movements by Americans right now on the economy, much larger than support in WI union who are wanting real cuts in govt not 4 billion out of 3 trillion democrats recently proposed. We need 1,000 billion in cuts. The US will soon be a Greece, if real cuts do not happen in social programs as well as defense. Math is math and it is only a matter of time US will be Greece, over 50% of people cannot rely on govt for a check. Time will tell on election cycle, but I think you will be surprised in that Obama will be a one term president. If not and democrats do take back congress, you have more of a chance of cap and trade being passed than your pension fund bail out. Bottom line, your UMWA pension on a math scale is in much worse shape than social security (and social security is in bad shape). If I was a young or middle aged miner, I would much rather have a 401K that is all mine in my name. I would much rather have all the money I have paid into social security in a fund that is in my name as well, but that will never happen.

In summary:

Highland $24.91/hr, Health Insurance for entire family 100%, Retirement UMWA pension fund, miners hired after Jan 1 2007 special Medical $3/hr fund for retirement and pay $850 dues.

Riverview $22.45/hr +$4/hr avg. production bonus hr/wage + safety bonuses + Christmas bonus, 100% Health Insurance for entire family 100%, 4% company contribution into 401k regardless of employee contribution with 6% after 5yr, 7% after 10 yr and 8% after 15 yr.

Today with production bonus, Riverview miners are making more per hour vs. Highland. The big “if” and risk for union miners is - will the UMWA pension fund stay funded 5,10,20,30 years ahead for all retirees and be financially secure? If it does, over all benefits are in union favor vs. Alliance. If it does not, I would much rather have my few dollars more per hour with bonuses in my pocket not the unions and my own 401K the company funds that I control and is mine. I have read articles that even if UMWA charges all companies a $20/hr pension fee - your pension is still unfunded. Your only hope is for a govt. bailout and I would not want to risk my retirement future on the govt. bailing me out? Also, long term, if cap and trade happens or there is a big downward swing in coal prices in the future, I do feel only the financially strong operations will survive and the Patriot IL Basin will go under before Alliance IL Basin operations. Thus, the average miner has more long term job security with Alliance in my opinion. In the end, I just do not trust the govt or a union to manage my money or retirement. For me, I’m tight, always drive used cars, save and I like money in an account with my name on it that I control. Further, I did buy some Alliance stock years ago due to the high dividend, but the price gains have been the real gem. In the end, each side has its benefits in my opinion and if I worked at Highland, I would be reading up on your pension and be very concerned.
dotiki

Beaver Dam, KY

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#27
Mar 29, 2011
 
ExDotikiEmployee wrote:
I worked at one of the Alliance mines for quite a few years and finally got the opportunity to go to Highland. I was there for one month when one of the Alliance bosses came to my house and made what he called "a offer I could not refuse". All I had to do was come back to my old Alliance mine and I would receive a two dollars an hour raise and a extra week of paid vacation per year.
And all I had to do was agree to train all the new green hats and at the same time constantly talk about how horrible it was working at a union mines and how I left there to come back to Alliance to where I could make more than a union miner could make. But of course I refused his "offer I could not refuse" and Im still at Highland where I plan on staying there until Im old enough to retire.
Since when did Dotiki have green hats??
ExDotikiEmployee

Evansville, IN

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#28
Mar 29, 2011
 
He used the term "GREENHATS" so i figure thats what they were going to do.
Hat

Madisonville, KY

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#29
Apr 1, 2011
 
dotiki wrote:
<quoted text>
Since when did Dotiki have green hats??
Not sure what he is talking about on the hats, but I would much rather have my 401K vs. an insolvent union pension fund with the only way of staying funded is a govt bail out.
yep

Central City, KY

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#30
Apr 1, 2011
 
I have both so if the pension goes away I still have the 401k to fall on.
whiplash

Madisonville, KY

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#31
Apr 1, 2011
 

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ICU wrote:
<quoted text>So you run a machine that does all the work. Mining has been deskilled and mechanized to where any old bozo can do it. My prediction is that within a generation you will all be replaced by immirants that will be paid by the ton, not the hour.
Who gives a shit what you think? I bet you can't do my job i'n my eyes your just a punk bitch that couldn't get a job i'n the mines so now u hate coal miners!
Anonymous

Madisonville, KY

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#32
Apr 1, 2011
 

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Job wrote:
<quoted text>
If you are running so much coal, why did Patriot IL Basin operations with its flagship union operation Highland leading the way lose money last quarter? Guess what, if UMWA makes union mines pay $20/hr for the retirement fund of older UMWA miners, the high profit met operations in Central App. may make it, but I can assure you Highland will go under if this happens. Guess what all the workers after 2007 whose hours are going to pay these retires will not even qualify for this retirement plan. Also, your UMWA loving Obama lovers are trying to kill coal first with cap and trade. Now they cannot get cap and trade past so they are just doing it through the EPA. Once carbon is taxed, coal plants will shift more to natural gas. Demand for coal over time goes down, coal prices fall and only the strong mines will survive and by looking at Patriot IL basin numbers, it sure as hell will not be Highland and Patriot operations. I have never understood why you union lovers support Obama? I guess you figure once they do shut your operation down, govt will take care of you and you would probably rather sit home and get a govt check like a large percent of the other Obama supporters.
did you ever hear of a coal company that admitted making a profit lmao
Anonymous

Madisonville, KY

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#33
Apr 1, 2011
 
yeah wrote:
The umwa is not gonna strike for another union and hurt themselves financially. Also If a new BCOA agreement is not reached by the end of the year they will just continue to work under the old contract until a new one is reached. There has not been a umwa strike around here since 93 and with the shape of today's economy I highly doubt there will be next year.
Highland Mine has a no strike policy bozo,get ur facts straight.
Yes

Madisonville, KY

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#34
Apr 1, 2011
 
sweetshelly wrote:
<quoted text> did you ever hear of a coal company that admitted making a profit lmao
Look at Peabody or Alliance reporting record profits and stocks are going up accordingly. Not near to the degree as Alliance, but Patriot stock is up some as well for one reason and one reason only - its met reserves. If Alliance had some met mines, there is no telling what their profits and stock price would be. If Patriot IL Basin mines produced same financial results as Patriot Central App. operations - Patriot would of produced profits rather than a loss last quarter. Bottom line, the Patriots IL Basin operations such as Highland are a drag on it profitability.
coal miner

Madisonville, KY

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#35
Apr 2, 2011
 
sweetshelly wrote:
<quoted text> Highland Mine has a no str ike policy bozo,get ur facts straight.
how do we have a no strike policy?
ass

Woodburn, KY

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#36
Apr 5, 2011
 
Hat wrote:
<quoted text>Not sure what he is talking about on the hats, but I would much rather have my 401K vs. an insolvent union pension fund with the only way of staying funded is a govt bail out.
You will thank that when u pay 1000 a month insurance!
Hat

Madisonville, KY

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#37
Apr 5, 2011
 
ass wrote:
<quoted text>
You will thank that when u pay 1000 a month insurance!
By the time I retire, I will be lucky to get Social Security the way this nation is headed and your UMWA pension and medical fund is in much much worse shape. Unless, this same broke govt. bails out the UMWA, there will be no medical fund in 25-30 years. Have you read the condition your UMWA funds are in? A bird in hand (401 matching investments and a higher wage) is worth more than the promise of two in the bush.....
miner

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#38
Apr 5, 2011
 

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I worked at a so called union mine and it SUCKED!!!!! VISION #9 payed a strike fund every week and couldnt strike,payed union dues for NOTHING!!By far the worst mines I ever stepped foot in!!!!
But I do know for a fact that if not for the union non of us miners would be safe or make any where near what we do now.
Hat

Madisonville, KY

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#39
Apr 5, 2011
 
miner wrote:
I worked at a so called union mine and it SUCKED!!!!! VISION #9 payed a strike fund every week and couldnt strike,payed union dues for NOTHING!!By far the worst mines I ever stepped foot in!!!!
But I do know for a fact that if not for the union non of us miners would be safe or make any where near what we do now.
and if it was not for JFK and MLK, blacks would still be sitting in the back of the bus....

We are in a global economy, more and more coal is shipped every day over seas. The US competes more and more with companies not in the US but all over the world. We are no longer in the industrial age and have moved to the information age. We have a black president and more MSHA and federal laws on labor that one can shake a stick at today. Thus, thank you union for the work you did in the past but, we live in 2011 not 1953 when blacks sat in the back of the bus or 1909 when kids worked in factories.
ChadRock

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#40
Jun 17, 2011
 

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New BCOA contract looks very promising and beneficial for UMWA

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