ST. LOUIS (AP) — Protesters have again marched in St. Louis over plans to take away health care and pension benefits for retired coal miners.
Patriot Coal Corp. filed for bankruptcy in July and said last week it wants to modify its collective bargaining agreement and create a trust fund for retiree health care benefits. Patriot says the move is needed to save 4,000 existing jobs.
Patriot spun off from Peabody Energy in 2007.
On Tuesday, about 2,000 people marched from Peabody’s office to U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Twelve protesters were arrested for sitting in the street.
Union leaders say Peabody set up Patriot to end benefit obligations to union retirees. Peabody disagreed, saying Patriot was successful until “unforeseen events” that included the global financial crisis, new regulations, and a reduction in metallurgical coal prices.