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.
A pending federal bankruptcy court decision could affect thousands of Kentucky mine worker benefits.
Patriot Coal Corporation, which operates two mines in Union and Henderson counties, wants to modify their collective bargaining agreements with the United Mine Workers Association. Patriot will replace all health care benefits for retirees with a Voluntary Employee Benefit Association trust. Patriot doesn't plan to replace the health insurance program for current employees.
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.
Three Hopkins County magistrates have aligned themselves with a union’s effort to move a coal company's bankruptcy case to a coal producing region despite legal advice to stay out of the matter. In July, Patriot Coal filed for bankruptcy in New York – an area far from coal producing regions.