Later, Pile said that McAteer misunderstood the role Adkins would play if the merger is approved by the shareholders for both companies at meetings scheduled for June 1.
Pile said the Running Right program is split into two parts and that Alpha executive Randy McMillion would run the part of the program focused on safety matters.
"Randy and his team have a comprehensive plan ready to deploy starting Day 1, which in 70 or so sessions will touch every Massey employee with our Running Right safety process," Pile said. "We will bolster that with another round of follow-up training and we will give miners all the tools necessary to implement the process completely within Massey."
McMillion was president of Alpha's Brooks Run Mining subsidiary in January 2007, when two miners died in a massive roof fall at the company's Cucumber Mine in McDowell County. The company paid $80,000 in fines for two major safety violations.
Just two weeks ago, an Alpha contractor pleaded guilty in federal court to lying to government investigators about training practices at that same mine.
On Friday, the United Mine Workers union issued a statement criticizing Alpha for its plans to keep Adkins and also provide a job for Massey's general counsel, Shane Harvey.
"In the wake of the strong report issued yesterday on the Upper Big Branch disaster by the West Virginia Governor's Independent Investigation Panel, the wisdom of putting these people into critical slots in Alpha must be called into serious question," said UMW President Cecil Roberts.
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.