Monday, August 17, 2015

Union rallies outside Patriot Coal over pension benefits

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The United Mine Workers of America is protesting bankrupt Patriot Coal's intentions to eliminate its union contract that includes pension contributions.

Hundreds of miners rallied Monday afternoon outside the company's headquarters in Scott Depot.

Patriot filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May 12. Patriot wants permission from a federal bankruptcy judge in Virginia to reject the company's collective bargaining agreement with union miners and change retirees' health care benefits.

Patriot wrote that it would otherwise run out of cash and have to liquidate.

Union president Cecil Roberts says the move would "wipe out generations of progress." Patriot says it is necessary in order to close on a proposed partial sale to Lexington, Kentucky-based Blackhawk Mining LLC.