Patriot Coal

UMWA protest
(Kristi Luther/St. Louis Public Radio)

Patriot Coal filed for Chapter 11 protection Tuesday, less than two years after emerging from bankruptcy.

Patriot, which was spun off from Peabody Energy in 2007, was headquartered in St. Louis until earlier this year. The company is now based in Scott Depot, West Virginia, and filed bankruptcy in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Virginia.

President and CEO Bob Bennett said “challenging market conditions” in coal led the company’s board and management team to make the decision. The company is in negotiations to sell its operating assets to a strategic partner.

Two Patriot Coal Miners Killed

May 13, 2014
(Flickr/Paul Sableman)

Patriot Coal, headquartered in Creve Coeur, confirmed Tuesday that two of its miners in West Virginia were killed in a "severe coal burst."

Eric Legg, 48, and Gary Hensley, 46, were working in Brody Mine No. 1, about 50 miles south of Charleston, W.VA., when the accident occurred just after 8:45 p.m. Monday.

"We express our deepest sympathies to Eric's and Gary's families, friends and co-workers," said Mike Day, Patriot executive vice president of operations.  "We are fully cooperating with state and federal mine regulatory agencies to investigate this incident."

Flickr/Paul Sableman

St. Louis-based Patriot Coal announced Tuesday that a federal bankruptcy judge has approved the company’s reorganization plan, clearing the way to come out of bankruptcy.

Patriot officials said the company will close on its exit financing and emerge from Chapter 11 Wednesday.

The company filed for bankruptcy in July, 2012. At the time, Patriot cited a low demand for coal and big costs for retiree benefits.

(Maria Altman/St. Louis Public Radio)

The nearly monthly rallies by retired miners in front of Peabody Energy’s headquarters in downtown St. Louis are now a thing of the past.

The United Mine Workers of America, Peabody Energy, and Patriot Coal announced a settlement late Tuesday night.

The UMWA had been pushing Peabody through its rallies and a lawsuit filed in Charleston to pay for retirees’ health benefits after its spin-off, Patriot Coal, filed for bankruptcy last year.

Patriot had largely shed its $1.6 billion liability in healthcare benefits for about 23,000 retired miners and their dependents.

(UPI)

Peabody Energy will have to pay health benefits for retirees of a former subsidiary after an appeals court reversed a federal bankruptcy judge’s decision.

The ruling Wednesday from the three-judge US Court of Appeals bankruptcy panel affects 3,100 retirees attached to Heritage Coal.

Peabody had earlier agreed to continue paying retiree health benefits when Heritage was spun off along with Patriot in 2007.

Maria Altman / St. Louis Public Radio

A federal bankruptcy judge approved a new labor agreement Tuesday between St. Louis-based Patriot Coal and the United Mine Workers of America.

Judge Kathy Surratt-States granted Patriot’s request for a new collective bargaining agreement.

About 1,800 UMWA members voted in favor of the agreement Friday, which would restore most of the wage cuts that Patriot had previously sought.

It also would put a VEBA, or Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association, in place of the current health benefits that about 10,000 retired miners currently have.

Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

 Members of the United Mine Workers of America have voted to ratify a settlement with bankrupt Patriot Coal.

The union said in a statement Friday night that current or laid-off Patriot workers in West Virginia and Kentucky voted 85 percent to 15 percent in favor of the agreement reached late last week.

Some 1,800 members from 13 locals were voting.

Patriot said it wants the company to survive, and union President Cecil Roberts had said the deal may let that happen.

UMWA Back In St. Louis

Aug 13, 2013
Maria Altman / St. Louis Public Radio

Members of The United Mine Workers of America were in St. Louis again Tuesday, rallying over miners’ retiree benefits.

The protest took place just one day after the union reached a tentative agreement with Patriot Coal.

But officials were turning their attention back to Peabody, which created the now bankrupt Patriot in 2007.

UMWA officials, including secretary treasurer Dan Kane, repeated at the rally in front of Peabody’s headquarters that the corporation is still responsible to its former employees.

(via Arch Coal)

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.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

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.

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