Sept 23 Peabody Energy Corp, which
created now-bankrupt Patriot Coal through a spin-off,
said an offer to settle claims relating to healthcare benefits
for Patriot Coal retirees had been rejected by the United Mine
Workers of America.
Peabody and Patriot have been fighting over the funding of
benefits for about 3,100 retirees that Peabody agreed to
continue covering after the October 2007 spin-off of Patriot.
Peabody said in a statement that its mid-August offer to
settle all claims with the UMWA could have been used to provide
the retirees with lifetime healthcare benefits comparable to
those of Peabody's active corporate employees.
"The UMWA retirees who have been traveling to St. Louis to
rally for healthcare benefits have a right to know that a good
faith settlement offer was on the table, and that union
leadership rejected it," Vic Svec, a senior vice president of
global investor and corporate relations, said in the statement.
Representatives for the United Mine Workers of America and
Patriot Coal could not be immediately contacted for comment
outside of regular U.S. business hours.
Earlier this month, Peabody said it had no obligation to
fund health and pension benefits for Patriot retirees affected
by the company's insolvency, arguing that new labor deals
between Patriot and the UMWA effectively relieved it of any