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Mine workers vote to accept settlement with Patriot Coal

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Members of the United Mine Workers of America have voted to ratify a settlement with bankrupt Patriot Coal.

The union said Friday night that current or laid-off Patriot workers in West Virginia and Kentucky voted 85 percent to 15 percent in favor of the agreement reached late last week.

Some 1,800 members from 13 locals were voting.

St. Louis-based Patriot says it wants the company to survive, and union President Cecil Roberts says a deal may let that happen.

The settlement would restore most wage cuts that Patriot had sought as part of its reorganization.

Roberts says the deal also reduces the restoration of some benefits and the continuation of others.

Pension benefits for thousands of current retirees would be maintained, and active employees would continue earning pension credit.

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