A labor union representing coal miners is blasting a decision by Alpha Natural Resources Inc. (ANR) to retain top executives at Massey Energy Co. (MEE) after it acquires the Virginia-based coal company later this year.
The criticism comes one day after independent investigators said the April 2010 explosion at Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch mine could have been prevented and was primarily the result of failures within Massey's safety systems, as well as lax oversight by federal and state regulators.
"The wisdom of putting these people into critical slots in Alpha [Natural Resources] must be called into serious question," United Mine Workers of America International President Cecil Roberts said in a statement Friday.
Shareholders are expected to vote on the proposed merger between Alpha Natural Resources and Massey Energy on June 1.
Representatives for Alpha Natural Resources and Massey Energy were unavailable for immediate comment.
-By Tennille Tracy, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-6619;