- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 25, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A group of former workers at a now-closed central Illinois coal mine allege in a federal lawsuit they’re owed a year of health insurance under a collective-bargaining deal.

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register (http://bit.ly/1jwM1Li ) reports the laid-off workers at the Crown III mine in Macoupin County filed the lawsuit this month in U.S. District Court in Springfield.

The suit names Springfield Coal Co. and Tri-County Coal, which was hired in 2009 to run the nearly 190-worker underground mine near Girard.

Attorneys for Springfield Coal and Tri-County have asked a judge to dismiss the case. The companies say they were never signatories to the collective-bargaining agreement. And they say the National Labor Relations Board should handle the dispute, not a court.

The mine closed late last year.

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Information from: The State Journal-Register, http://www.sj-r.com