MOST ISSUES REPORTEDLY SETTLED IN UMW'S SIX-MONTH COAL STRIKE

MOST ISSUES REPORTEDLY SETTLED IN UMW'S SIX-MONTH COAL STRIKE

Negotiators for the United Mine Workers and a coal industry group have reached agreement on the issues that prompted the union's 6-month-old strike, the Charleston Gazette reported Thursday.

Negotiators from the union and the Bituminous Coal Operators Association have reached agreement on such issues as job security and health and pension benefits for miners, the paper quoted an unidentified source as saying.Details of those agreements were finalized over the weekend, the paper said. But the two sides have been unable to resolve a dispute over what will happen to UMW members disciplined by companies for alleged picket-line misconduct, the paper reported.

Some association companies, including Eastern Associated Coal Corp. of Charleston and Arch Mineral Corp. of St. Louis, have started discharge proceedings for miners accused of picket-line violence.

The UMW has been on strike since May 10 against selected members of the coal association in a dispute that the union says focuses on job security and future employment for the union's members. The union says it has 17,500 members on strike in seven states in Appalachia and the Midwest.

Jim Grossfeld, UMW spokesman, and Tom Hoffman, association spokesman, declined to comment on the report. An Eastern Associated spokesman, Mike Herron, also said he could not confirm the report.

The telephone at the Washington office of special mediator Bill Usery was answered by a recording. No one from the office immediately returned a telephone message.

Meanwhile, the labor board issued a complaint against Arch Mineral subsidiary Apogee Coal Co. and Elite Security of North Carolina Inc. of Fayetteville, N.C.

Randall Frye, director of the labor board's regional office in Cincinnati, charged Elite guards with "restraining and coercing" UMW members exercising their right to picket.

Blair Gardner, a spokesman for the St. Louis-based Arch Mineral, said company guards have used tear gas only in self-defense.