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Construction workers ordered back to mines

With a newly ratified contract in hand, the United Mine Workers union ordered mine construction workers back to work Thursday, bringing labor stability to the soft coal industry for the first time in three months. The construction agreement calls for increases in wages and benefits of 38.5 percent over the same 40-month period as the soft coal miners' settlement. It equalizes pay for workers on shafts and slopes with those doing surface construction and prohibits employers from subcontracting work out in an effort to discipline UM W employees for engaging in union activity.