A fight over retiree health benefits landed in front of Arch Coal’s Creve Coeur headquarters Tuesday morning.
The United Mine Workers of America union argues Arch and Peabody Energy both bear responsibility for 10,000 miners’ health benefits jeopardized in another company’s bankruptcy.
St. Louis-based Patriot Coal was spun off from Peabody in 2007 and then bought a former Arch subsidiary in 2008.
The UMWA has filed suit against both Peabody and Arch in West Virginia claiming they purposely shed liabilities such as retirees’ health benefits.
"We believe Arch has an obligation and continues to have an obligation to these folks," said UMWA spokesman Phil Smith. "That’s why we’ve filed the lawsuit in Charleston, and that’s why we continue to have these rallies and have these protests."
Arch Coal released a statement Tuesday saying the company had no involvement in the eventual sale of its former subsidiary to Patriot.
Peabody officials have repeatedly said that Patriot was in a strong position when it was spun off from Peabody six years ago.