Miners' Union Takes Unusual Legal Tur...

Miners' Union Takes Unusual Legal Turn to Save Benefits in Bankruptcy

There are 7 comments on the Insurance Journal West story from May 1, 2013, titled Miners' Union Takes Unusual Legal Turn to Save Benefits in Bankruptcy. In it, Insurance Journal West reports that:

As mineworkers and retirees battle to salvage their pensions and benefits from the bankruptcy of Patriot Coal Corp., lawyers for their union are trying an unusual gambit - and one that may be a test case for workers' rights when companies spin off assets.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Insurance Journal West.

Sharon

Logan, WV

#1 May 6, 2013
What about all the retired company people! They have already got their letters telling them they have no insurance. This is not right. Long ago the companies took better care of their employees and a lot of the union men chose to go company so in their later years they could take care of their wives and finally get to rest. I think of all the times I wished my dad could go to ball games or other events but he had to work 4:00 pm to 12:00am this was called evening shift. So actually we grew up without a father. He was asleep when we went to school and at work when we came home. Now I guess we have to take care of them . This would not bother me but he thought everything was going his way until now.
nemesis

Elizabeth, WV

#2 May 8, 2013
The Companies screw their salary people the same as their hourly workers. It's the nature of the beast. It's called Greed.
Charles whitlow

United States

#3 May 8, 2013
If it hadnt been for the umwa the company wouldnt have the wages and benefits they recieved.. the mineworkers got wages and benefits for all working people. You all will see whenyou dont have any union. You better wake up
jeff wilkes

United States

#4 May 11, 2013
Sharon wrote:
What about all the retired company people! They have already got their letters telling them they have no insurance. This is not right. Long ago the companies took better care of their employees and a lot of the union men chose to go company so in their later years they could take care of their wives and finally get to rest. I think of all the times I wished my dad could go to ball games or other events but he had to work 4:00 pm to 12:00am this was called evening shift. So actually we grew up without a father. He was asleep when we went to school and at work when we came home. Now I guess we have to take care of them . This would not bother me but he thought everything was going his way until now.
Sharon, I am sorry your dad
jeff wilkes

United States

#5 May 11, 2013
Sharon, I am sorry to hear your dad lost his insurance. Your dad had a verbal agreement with the co. Union members have a contract agreeded to by both parties. Union members for years have seen their companies cut their supervisors pay/benefits. I am sure your father is a good person and supervisor, but the fact is Patriotcares nothing of him except to make them $. The union in reality sets the wage scale for all miners & supervisors. All coal miners for their own safety & health and dignity should join the union.
JBH 1995

Tampa, FL

#6 Dec 14, 2015
I would like to share the discrimination, financial devastation that this great reorganization patriot coal has gotten away with . I was permanently disabled in 1995 at 33 years of age , actual on the job injury . I have slowly lost benefits every time a company buy out has occurred . After almost 18 years , 5 major surgeries, diegnosis of pneumoncosis, and knee replacement , patriot / magnum / arch / dal Tex / Ashland what ever the name this week is has taken everything . Termination letter stating I no longer have any health care benefits for myself or family and all income benefits also terminated .
I have original documents that tell me all the life time family benefits I would receive and a life insurance policy . These papers explaining all I would receive are useless . Each company had their own disability benefit package . I eventually became added to the list of retirees. We all know what they were able to do to retired employees , without a doubt very wrong treatment to say the least . Terminating benefits and income that I actually paid a premium for on my own but as a perk with the insurance company that coordinated health benefits . As far as I have been able to track the responsibility of the disability insurance, patriot purchased or as a deal with an insurance company became the payer of that policy . When this last bankruptcy occurred the disability insurance I paid for with after tax income ( this has been investigated by the IRS and shown I be non taxable income ) has been terminated . If anyone has any information about tracking how this happened I would appreciate it and if I can help with the information/ documents I have dating back to 1993 please contact me .
Another patriot story of devastation caused by a company that still operates under the same name , paying bonuses and showing stock holders a profit . Our system is broken when this can happen and others should be aware this is a president that other companies can use to eliminate the obligations they tell their employees are great benefit packages .
JBH 1995

Tampa, FL

#7 Dec 14, 2015
Just a note to give everyone something to look into and think about .
Just track these company buy outs , take overs what ever you want to call it . Take a close look at stock information relating to who actually owns the majority of stock in these companies . Blackhawk for example , patriot coal is the owner of aprox. 52% of Blackhawk stock . Just going on information that I can not verify completely but is public record patriot owns the company they were able to turn assets over too and terminate obligations .
I do agree the union set the base for salary wages , that isn't really the point of what the union did for all miners . The union created a safer work environment and at the same time protecting its members , the union began failing its members when it became a safety net for the ones that just plainly didn't want to work . Every contract negotiation started with how much more paid time off that was in it and not security in benefits or protection from exactly what patriot has gotten away with .

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