UMWA chief blasts Patriot Coal bankruptcy move - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

UMWA chief blasts Patriot Coal bankruptcy move

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ST. LOUIS (AP) -

The top official with a national miners' union says bankrupt Patriot Coal's bid to cut retiree health care benefits, while seeking millions of dollars for executive bonuses, is immoral.

United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts also on Monday questioned what he said was $16 million in legal fees and expenses that the St. Louis-based company has spent so far in its quest to emerge from bankruptcy protection.

Patriot filed for bankruptcy eight months ago. Last week it asked the court to modify collective-bargaining agreements with the UMWA, saying its retiree health care cost amounted to an unsustainable $1.6 billion.

A message left Monday with Patriot wasn't immediately returned.

Patriot was spun off from St. Louis-based Peabody Energy Corp. in 2007.

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