- Associated Press - Friday, June 24, 2016

ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio (AP) - America’s largest coal-mining company says it’s reached a tentative labor agreement with unionized miners.

Murray American Energy announced Friday a 5-year pact struck between the United Mine Workers of America and the Bituminous Coal Operators Association, representing mine operators in Ohio and West Virginia.

The union plans a membership vote next week on the contract, which would run from June 30 through 2021.

Robert Murray, CEO of Murray American and chairman of the association, said the agreement “will go a long way” in ensuring union employees are able to continue working “even in this very depressed coal marketplace.”

UMWA President Cecil Roberts said the “rapidly deteriorating status” of the U.S. coal industry required locking in the best terms and conditions six months before the current contract expires.

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