Members of the United Mine Workers from all over the nation were back in St. Louis Wednesday to demonstrate again against the actions of Peabody, Arch , and Patriot Coal Companies.
Union coal miners marched for the second time in as many weeks through the streets of St. Louis and rallied outside the headquarters of Peabody Coal. Two weeks ago, UMWA President Cecil Roberts and a handful of other union members were arrested on the same spot in a peaceful protest. Miners say it won’t be their last visit to St. Louis.
“I’m going to tell you brothers and sisters, I’m here to stay and I know you will be,” UMWA District 17 President Joe Carter told the gathered crowd. “If we have to come back time and time again, we’re not going to stop until the right outcome of this Patriot bankruptcy comes to pass.”
Patriot Coal filed for bankruptcy last year. UMWA leaders claim the bankruptcy was a planned outcome when the company was formed. The union maintains Patriot was established by Peabody and Arch Coal for the expressed purpose of dumping retirees of the major corporations and shedding their promised pension and lifetime health care obligations in federal bankruptcy court.
“These people sit in these ivory towers and look down on us and they’re going to try and take our healthcare away. Let me tell you this, they’re striking at the very fabric of the United Mine Workers of America,” Carter said. “Coal miners remember this, you worked and earned the benefits you’ve got they didn’t pass them out the back door, you worked and earned them.”