October 12, 1984
(Opinion issued in letter form; name and address deleted)
Re: Resolution of Dispute
Case Number 81-491
Pursuant to Article IX of the United Mine Workers of America 1950 Benefit Plan and Trust, and
under the authority of an exemption granted by the United States Department of Labor, the
Trustees have reviewed the facts and circumstances of this dispute concerning an Employer’s
responsibility to provide health and other non-pension benefits at the level prescribed by the
terms of the National Bituminous Coal Wage Agreement of 1981 (Wage Agreement). The
Trustees hereby render their opinion in this matter.
According to evidence submitted by several Employees of Krest Coal Company, including
copies of itemized health care invoices reflecting insurance payments and copies of group
medical insurance identification cards, it appears that the level of benefits coverage provided by
the Employer is not consistent with that required of Employer Benefit Plans. These Employees
have asked that the Employer provide benefits coverage at the level specified in the Wage
Agreement and in the Plans which are incorporated by reference therein. They have also asked
that all outstanding p t bills for covered health services, as well as those incurred in the future, be
paid by the Employer at the level provided in the Wage Agreement and that the Employees be
reimbursed for covered expenses they have incurred.
The Employer has failed to respond to repeated correspondence from the funds requesting its
position in this dispute. Therefore, the Trustees must decide this dispute based on the available
Benefit levels to be provided to Employees, Pensioners and their dependents and survivors are
established through collective bargaining and are not subject to unilateral change by either party.
The Employer is responsible for provision of benefits coverage at the level specified in the Wage
Agreement for Employer Benefit Plans.
The evidence submitted indicates that the level of benefits provided by the Employer does not
meet the requirements of the Employer Benefit Plans. The Trustees have therefore determined
that the Employer is responsible for payment of outstanding bills for services that should be
covered under the Plan and for reimbursement of covered expenses incurred by the Employees.
Harrison Combs, Chairman
John J. O’Connell, Trustee
Paul R. Dean, Trustee
Opinion of Trustees
Resolution of Dispute
Case No. 81-491