Union-backed coal miners in Kentucky and surrounding states are protesting a coal company’s bankruptcy proceedings they say jeopardizes pension and health care benefits for some 20-thousand retirees and dependents. Miners were picketing Wednesday outside Peabody Energy’s headquarters in St. Louis.
Two charter buses bound for St. Louis left early Wednesday morning from western Kentucky to join the protest led by the United Mine Workers of Amercia.
Peabody Energy is one of the nation’s largest coal companies and one of the companies the union accuses of orchestrating business deals that bankrupted Patriot Coal.
The union says most of the 20-thousand people whose benefits may be affected by Patriot’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy are largely in Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and West Virginia.
Peabody, which spun off Patriot in 2007, says it has “lived up to its obligations and continues to do so,” and that the dispute is solely between the union and Patriot.