Miners Rally In Bid To Protect Retiree Health Benefits

As hundreds of Patriot Coal Corp. miners and retirees gathered Tuesday in St. Louis to protest the possible loss of retiree health care benefits, their union president said a proposal to fund a portion of the obligations through a trust fund is inadequate.

Union officials say thousands of retirees and their spouses are threatened with losing health coverage if Patriot gets approval to shed the obligations as part of its restructuring under Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The union alleges in a lawsuit filed last fall in Charleston, W.Va., that Patriot was “designed to fail” because it was saddled with too much debt when it was spun off from Peabody Energy in 2007. Peabody says union leaders were aware of how the Patriot spinoff was structured and didn’t complain until unforeseen circumstances drove Patriot into bankruptcy

Read more in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch


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