united mine workers of america

Judge OKs Patriot Coal, miners' union deal

Aug 20, 2013
Rachel Lippmann / St. Louis Public Radio

Patriot Coal Corp. has a bankruptcy judge's go-ahead to enter into a new labor agreement with the nation's biggest miners' union, ending a long, acrimonious dispute.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kathy Surratt-States on Tuesday granted St. Louis-based Patriot's request to put in place the collective bargaining deal ratified Friday by the United Mine Workers of America.

The settlement restores most wage cuts that Patriot had sought as part of its reorganization. Pension benefits for thousands of retirees are maintained, and active employees will continue earning pension credit.

Kheel Center, Cornell University / Flickr

 

The nation's biggest miners' union and Patriot Coal Co. say they have reached a potential settlement over the severity of wage and benefits cuts a bankruptcy judge had allowed the company to impose.

The United Mine Workers of America isn't publicly revealing details of the deal, pending Friday's scheduled ratification vote by its members. St. Louis-based Patriot also isn't releasing the terms.

More than a thousand United Mine Workers of America members were back in St. Louis on Monday, the latest in a series of protests against Peabody Energy and its handling of their  retirement and health care benefits.