WKU Public Radio News Staff
Thu October 25, 2012
UMW Sues Coal Companies Over Pension and Healthcare Benefits
The United Mine Workers of America is suing Arch Coal and Peabody Energy. The suit involves pension and healthcare benefits for bankrupt Patriot Coal Corporation's active and retired miners and their families.
Peabody spun off Patriot Coal in November of 2007, and Patriot later acquired mines that Arch spun off into Magnum Coal. The union's lawsuit claims Peabody and Arch established spinoff companies to rid themselves of their benefits liabilities. However, the UMW says Arch and Peabody are still responsible for these benefits under the federal Employee Retirement and Income Securities Act.
Arch and Peabody declined to comment to media outlets regarding the lawsuit. Patriot filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July. The company operates mines in Kentucky and West Virginia.