12 arrested during coal co. protest - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

12 arrested during coal co. protest

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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 was spun off from Peabody Energy in 2007.

On Tuesday, about 2,000 people marched from Peabody's St. Louis office to U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Twelve protesters were arrested for sitting in the street in front of the federal courthouse.

Union leaders say Peabody set up Patriot simply to end benefit obligations to union retirees.

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