• An initial cash contribution of $15 million.
• Giving the UMW a 35 percent ownership in the reorganized company, which the union could sell for "a substantial cash contribution" to help fund retiree health care.
• Royalty contributions for every ton of coal mined by Patriot.
• Additional profit-sharing payments.
"Despite being under no obligation to do so," the company stated, "Patriot has voluntarily continued to bargain with the UMWA in an effort to reach a consensual agreement on terms more favorable to the UMWA than the proposals approved by the court."
Hatfield said, "In these continuing discussions, Patriot has offered substantial improvements for our UMWA employees that result in a wage and benefit package that is clearly favorable to the regional labor market."
Patriot Coal has 4,000 employees whose jobs could be endangered if the company collapses.
"We are hopeful that the UMWA will return to the negotiating table and work toward a solution that allows Patriot to survive and continue to provide 4,000 jobs and meaningful health-care benefits for thousands of retirees and their families," Patriot said in the statement.
The UMW is scheduling meetings with local unions representing Patriot workers in preparation for a vote on a possible strike. Local unions are likely to vote during the last week of June.
Under the UMW constitution, all active members working for Patriot, including miners who are laid off or who are on sick or disability leave, can vote on their proposed terms and conditions of employment. Miners have the right to vote up or down any collective-bargaining agreement. The authority to call a strike rests solely with the UMW's international president, Cecil Roberts.
About 1,650 of Patriot's 5,200 active employees are represented by the UMW union. The bulk of the company's union workers are employed at four mines that represent roughly half of Patriot's 2012 coal production, according to court records and financial disclosures. Three of those mines are in West Virginia: Federal No. 2, in Monongalia County; Hobet 21, along the Boone-Lincoln county line; and Guyan, in Logan County.
The UMW has appealed Surratt-States' decision to the U.S. District Court in St. Louis, and union lawyers are scheduled to file their initial brief on June 25.
Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.