Peabody Energy

A coal-mining giant has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection amid an industrywide slump.

Peabody Energy — which is the biggest coal miner in the U.S. and says it is the largest private-sector coal company in the world — is looking to restructure its heavy debt load and gain relief from its creditors. It hopes to continue operations unimpeded.

Peabody Energy Corp. wants a bankruptcy court to confirm that it can terminate its obligation to fund Patriot Coal’s retiree health care benefits.

Peabody is one of the largest private sector coal companies in the world and one of its many spin-offs is Patriot, which operates two mines in Union and Henderson counties.

The United Mine Workers of America plan to appeal a court ruling that will significantly cut health care and pension benefits to thousands of workers and retirees, including many in Kentucky.

On Wednesday, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kathy Surratt-States approved Peabody Energy Corp. spin-off Patriot Coal’s request to impose wage and benefit cuts by throwing out its collective bargaining agreements with the UMW. Union spokesman Phil Smith says the battle is far from over, however.

UMWA Protests Potential Loss of Health Benefits

Feb 13, 2013
NRDC

Members of the United Mine Workers of America and other unions rallied  in St. Louis today. Hundreds of United Mine Workers and supports marched through the streets of St. Louis today as part of a rally in front of the corporate headquarters of Peabody Energy. Miners are protesting the potential loss of health benefits.

A Peabody Energy Corp.  subsidiary is permanently closing a southern Illinois mine because it failed to meet safety, compliance and performance standards. Bay Ridge Inc. says operations at the Willow Lake Mine near Harrisburg are unsustainable. The mine closing will affect about 400 workers.

A worker has died after being trapped in machinery Saturday at a Saline County, Ill., mine. The incident happened at Willow Lake Mine.  The operation, which employs about 460 people, is run by a subsidiary of Peabody Energy Corporation. Peabody Spokesperson Meg Gallagher says 30-year-old Chad Meyers of Goreville died after being pinned by a continuous mining machine he was operating.