Coal Company's Bid to Cut Benefits Set for Hearing
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A coal company is poised to argue to a federal bankruptcy judge that it needs to significantly cut health care and pension benefits for its union workers, who protest the move.
Attorneys for Patriot Coal Corp. and the United Mine Workers of America were to argue the matter Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in St. Louis.
St. Louis-based Patriot filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last summer.
Patriot was spun off from Peabody Energy Corp. in 2007. Patriot hit hard times in recent years, with the company citing exceptionally soft coal markets, rising costs and "unsustainable legacy liabilities" tied to the spinoff.
The union says Patriot was set up to fail in a deliberate plan to end benefit obligations to retirees. Patriot and Peabody deny that claim.
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