Union employes of a health and pension fund operated for the members of the mine workers union voted yesterday to accept a new contract settlement and to end a walkout that began Oct. 1.
The settlement is "the best we could get under very difficult circumstances," said Chase Maddy, a spokesman for the union that represents about 350 employes of the United Mine Workers of America Welfare and Retirement Fund.
The fund is run jointly by the UMW and by 32 coal companies, and serves about 185,000 active and retired miners.
Maddy said a recent contract settlement between the union and the coal companies is expected to reduce the scope and activities of the health and pension fund, and consequently to lead to reductions in the work force.
About 240 members of the fund union work in this area, Maddy said. Others work in branch offices in the coal fields.
The vote to accept the contract, which provides for a 10 percent pay increase over its three-year lifetime, was 255 to 24, Maddy said.
A spokesman for the mine workers union, speaking after the settlement was reached but before the results of the vote were known, said the union "would like very much for that labor dispute to be resolved in such a way that both management and workers are happy."
Officials of the fund could not be reached.