Bankruptcy Leaves Miners’ Benefits at Risk

The United Mine Workers and its approximated 1,000 members have been experiencing hardship as Patriot Coal has recently filed banktrucpy since May.

However, this is nothing new to the workers as health benefits and pensions have been threatened by Patriot’s troubles before.

The firm had previously emerged from bankruptcy in late 2013.

The plan is to outsource its coalmines to other firms, including a non-profit company in Richmond, Virginia. Unfortunately, Patriot is encouraging its successors to “dump” the Mine Workers’ contracts, too.

There was a scheduled September 8 ruling, and possible approval, to take place in West Virginia by Federal bankruptcy judge Keith Phillips.

This past month was buzzing with activity as “more than 1,000 Mine Workers and their allies marched on Patriot headquarters in Charleston, W. Va., on August 17, and another 1,500 rallied in a park in Clarksville, Pa. on August 30 to protest looking abolition of their pension and health benefits.”

“These miners worked 30, 40, some even 50 years to earn their retiree health care and pension benefits,” Mine Workers President Cecil Roberts told the Clarkesville crowd. “These benefits were promised by the United States government and written into contract and contract for nearly 70 years. Now, through no fault of their own, there retirees find their benefits in jeopardy.”

Source: PAI