CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Gaston Caperton today invited the heads of the Pittston Co., the nation's largest coal exporter, and the miners' union to the governor's mansion to resume negotiations in a violent, 2 1/2-month strike.
"Only two parties can end this strike--Pittston and the United Mine Workers," Caperton said at a breakfast meeting of the National Coal Assn. convention at the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs.
He asked UMW President Richard Trumka and Paul Douglas, chairman of the Pittston Co., to resume negotiations Monday. About 1,900 UMW members have been on strike at Pittston Coal Group mines in Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky since April 5 over wage and benefit disputes. Wildcat walkouts in sympathy with the strikers have spread to nine other states.
Pittston has declared an impasse in contract negotiations and has begun implementing its own contract at its operations. Neither the company nor the union immediately responded to the invitation.