A judge in Lebanon, Va., refused yesterday to dismiss $52 million of the $64 million in fines he imposed on the United Mine Workers for violations during the sometimes-violent strike against Pittston Coal Group Inc.
Circuit Judge Donald McGlothlin Jr. rejected a dismissal motion filed by the union and Pittston, who were seeking to heal hard feelings after settling the 10-month strike in February.
McGlothlin agreed to dismiss approximately $12 million in fines that would have been allocated to Pittston to compensate for the losses caused by vandalism and efforts to limit coal production.
The judge said the remaining $52 million allocated to the state and two southwestern Virginia coal field counties, Dickenson and Russell, should stand.
The union was found guilty of contempt of court because of numerous violations of McGlothlin's strike restrictions.
The violations included using massive sit-down demonstrations, spikes in the road, rolling roadblocks to stop coal truck traffic and taking over a production plant for four days in September.
The state spent about $10 million keeping several hundred State Police officers in the coal fields during the strike and the counties lost tax revenue because of the reduction in coal production during the labor dispute.