If you have a retirement plan and hope to use it one day, you can understand why the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) is fighting against a scam being pulled by Peabody Energy and Arch Coal to shed retiree health and pension obligations via the bankruptcy of its straw man company – Patriot Coal.
Peabody, the largest coal producer in the world, is trying to manipulate its way out of the agreed pension and health care responsibilities for more than 20,000 retired coal miners in Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. Peabody shifted more than a half-billion dollars of its pension and health care responsibilities in 2007 over to its spin-off company Patriot Coal, which is also responsible for the obligations of a company called Magnum Coal, a creation of Arch that Patriot acquired in 2008. Patriot Coal has now filed for bankruptcy and claims it cannot pay the benefits.
You confused yet? We’re not – we’ve seen this movie.
Sadly, this isn’t the first time companies have used this corporate shell game to forgo their responsibilities to hard working families. Corporations often manipulate laws and develop shell companies to use as a scapegoat in an attempt to increase executive pay and force the middle class to carry the burden. Patriot Coal also likes to manipulate standard industry terms, but referring in court to retirement benefits as “unsustainable labor-related liabilities.” Really, Patriot?
This is why TTD is standing in solidarity with UMWA whose members have worked far too hard to have the rug pulled out from underneath them by corporate greed. You can join the fight by signing the petition to maintain the benefits promised by Peabody and Arch and their hollow creation Patriot Coal.
We will stand with these workers in their fight to attain a piece of the American dream. We will condemn corporate scams designed to deny workers the benefits they have earned.
Stand with these workers.