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UMWA retiree benefit plan trustees allege West Virginia Governor Justice coal companies failed to pay plan premiums

By Mike Tony, Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The trustees of a miner union’s retiree benefit plan have sued three of Gov. Jim Justice’s coal companies in federal court over what they say was a failure to pay monthly premiums for four years.

Four trustees of a United Mine Workers of America benefit plan filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia on Aug. 18 alleging that Bluestone Coal Corp., Bluestone Industries, Inc. and Keystone Service Industries, Inc. failed to pay required monthly per beneficiary premiums for the plan.

The trustees say that the companies’ alleged failure to pay premiums totaling $78,954 from July 15, 2017 through Aug. 15, 2021 caused the plan to not only lose income but incur administrative and legal expenses, constituting a violation of federal law — the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 — setting minimum standards for most voluntarily established retirement and health plans.

The benefit plan to which the trustees say the Justice companies have caused “continuing and irreparable injury” is the 1992 Benefit Plan, so named because it was established under the Coal Industry Retiree Health Benefit Act of 1992, also known as the Coal Act…

To read more: https://www.wvgazettemail.com/news/energy_and_environment/umwa-retiree-benefit-plan-trustees-allege-justice-coal-companies-failed-to-pay-plan-premiums/article_101ced51-e4b3-51f5-9730-8209e379acd3.html

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