The Norman Transcript

Columns

June 7, 2013

Coal ruling is unAmerican

NORMAN — The recent ruling by a federal bankruptcy court judge in St. Louis will apparently pave the way for the Patriot Coal Co. to back out of promised health care and pension benefits for thousands of coal miners and retirees is a slap in the face for those who have worked so hard to keep our country moving forward.

Throughout this entire process with Patriot Coal, a spin-off of Peabody Energy, the accusation from the United Mine Workers of America has been that it was an orchestrated maneuver intended to break “the union” and its collective bargaining agreements. Of course, that has been denied.

Now, even though the UMWA has said it will appeal the bankruptcy court ruling, the picture turns gloomy for those who have toiled to mine coal for Patriot/ Peabody.

Those coal miners who have performed this dangerous work under the belief and expectation of having retirement and health insurance benefits should not be treated in this fashion.

What’s happening is not the American way, and it’s not right.

— CNHI News Service

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