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.
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.
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.
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.
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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