It's pretty clear what happened here: The Patriot Coal Corporation was created by Peabody Energy and Arch Coal so it could file for bankruptcy and rob workers of their pensions and health care coverage. The UMW says the company was designed to fail, and points out that not one of the people currently collecting benefits from the company ever worked for them.
We will eventually shut down these mines, because we have to, in order to save what's left of our environment. But there's no way in hell our judicial system should strip those workers of every single benefit they earned in the mines:
And the problems faced by Patriot miners and retirees is getting more attention, first with this story in the Wall Street Journal:Patriot Coal Corp., which is in bankruptcy-court proceedings, plans to seek to terminate the health benefits of up to 1,000 salaried retirees, according to court filings.
During the Patriot bankruptcy most attention has focused on about 22,000 active union miners, union retirees and their beneficiaries who are fighting to keep health benefits. While smaller in number, the salaried retirees could stand to lose more than unionized counterparts.
Salaried retirees, for example, would be ineligible to participate in a trust Patriot has proposed to cover some health benefits for retired United Mine Workers of America members …