St. LOUIS, Mo. — United Mine Workers President Cecil Roberts and select members of his union offered themselves up for arrest Tuesday, yet another protest in the union’s ongoing dispute over the bankruptcy of Patriot Coal.

It’s the eighth time Roberts has been arrested in similar protests across the country.

“I’ll get arrested 108 times if I have to,” Roberts told the rain-soaked St. Louis crowd.

The union targeted Tuesday’s demonstration toward Arch Coal Corporation, one of the players involved. Union members rallied outside Arch headquarters. Past demonstrations have been held outside the headquarters of Peabody Coal in St. Louis and Patriot Coal’s offices in Charleston.

Roberts rallied the crowd and expressed solidarity among a number of labor unions gathered for the event.

“I want every union to finally stand up collectively and say, ‘We’ve had enough!’”

The UMWA claims Patriot was deliberately set up to fail by Arch Coal and Peabody by dumping their long held pension and retiree healthcare obligations onto the newly formed company. Patriot filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and continues to negotiate with the UMWA in hopes of saving the company.

The union is promising to hold Peabody and Arch accountable for the retiree pension and healthcare obligations negotiated down through the years with their companies.


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  • Woodchuck

    If the corporate managers were getting arrested, they would be fired. But good old Cecil, he knows better. Is Cecil running for office and trying to get to free news time?

    I have a question and I'm serious. How much do coal miners in the UMWA earn per hour? I hear it is about $26.00 per hour. How much did the same miners earn in 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010? I hear about 20.00 per hour.

    Please someone respond...

    Oh and do they work 20 years and get the pension and medical benefits?

    And what are the dues? And aren't they forced to work 6 and 7 days or be fired?

    I think Cecil has sold the hard working people down the road. While he spends the dues for his legal team and golfing buddies.

  • Dennyk

    One simple question...why has the UMWA supported Obama when they knew that he intended to destroy the coal industry?

  • Jim N Charleston

    I'm captivated when Cecil Roberts speaks. He's just sooooo intelligent.

    I watch Pro Rasslin too

    • ConservativeRealist

      I just loved listening to him SCREAM into the microphone...reminds me of...what's his name...the Democrat form Vermont whose campaign imploded...

  • bill gloshen

    keep protesting cecil. It is not right our pitiful judical system, letting coal companies welch out. The only reason for the sale of the coal company was so they could loophole out of their agreement with miners that had cut years off their lives so the coal companies could make billions.

  • SadforWV

    I feel sad when I hear union members spouting off about corporate greed and how unions helps non-members. Some of that may be true but for the most part right-to- work states are thriving while solid union states are struggling to keep up.
    Unions place a barrier between employees and employer- creating an us versus them mentality. Your employer is not your enemy.

  • wvtd

    right to work for west Virginia. unions and Obama, two peas in a pod. good job Peabody coal, about time someone stood up to the violent thugs of the umwa.

  • Rick

    In Corporate States of America, you'll pay them for the paltry job they let you do. When will you realize that the benefits you have came from the hard work and struggles of the UNION. Even if your not UNION, get up, get out and take your country back.

    • DonaldH

      Comrade Rick, you prefer us to live in New Soviet America, No?

    • ConservativeRealist

      Das ve danya Comrade'!

  • Roger

    It is so sad .when corporation like Peabody Coal can profit 350 billion dollars last year and spin off FLY BY NITE coal co. That ends up filling bankruptcy and these Judges appointed by our Government let them do this. All the Union Miners want is what was Promised with negotiated contracts with Peabody and ETC.Its a Sad day in this United States of America when these Coal Miners are going to loose their benefits. My God Bless You Cecil Roberts for standing up for all of us UNION MINERS!!!

    • DonaldH

      Really Roger, 350 billion dollar profit last year, 350Billion dollars in profit? Really? Exxon just reported today a 16 billion profit for this quarter, an amount that broke their previous record of 14.8 in 2008.. All of the American Coal Industry probably doesn't garner 350 billion in total revenue...

      • NorthernWVman

        but but but $350B sounds better to the minions

  • Retireeee!!!!!

    Just ask Detroit what can the unions do for you!!

    • Rick

      Unions have nothing to do with Detroit. It was years of bad management and politics.

      • thornton

        Funny....just need big shoes and a red nose for a circus act.

      • WVWho

        You are obviously an economic expert...please continue....

        • thornton

          Most understand that economic disasters and failures of the level of D-troit require blame to be accepted by all involved and at all levels if lessons are to be learned.

          Giving free passes to Unions or whatever serves nothing but a furthering of personal agendas.
          Mature a bit and you may realize that few, if any, of us are blameless in where we find ourselves today.

          • ConservativeRealist

            Well said...

      • ConservativeRealist

        The politics of Detroit were run by the UAW and the Teamsters. It is a fact. Let is not forget Hoffa - Hoffa was last seen in late July 1975, outside the Machus Red Fox, a suburban Detroit restaurant. Don't ya think the mob was heavy into Detroit politics?...maybe part of the "mismanagement" of wasteful city contracts, etc.? Then there was Kwame Kilpatrick and his fiasco - which was directly tied back to union influence peddling...someone needs to read the newspaper instead of just the funny papers...

  • Matt

    Why not use all those Union dues to pay for the medical and benefits for these miners instead of paying for this loser to have his eight arrests.

    Unions will never admit they helped cause this. People love to scream "corp greed", but there is such a thing as "Union greed" as well.

    • JimmyTwoTimes

      I agree that unions have brought some of this on themselves. However you should really check your facts. Currently corporate profits are at all time highs and peoples wages as a percentage of those profits are at all time lows. That is a big contributor why the economy cant get rolling. The middle class, which is the primary driver of the economy, doesn't have the income to buy as much. Corporations have become extremely efficient, which is good. But along the way the wages of the employees haven't kept up. As the saying goes, "one mans wages are another comapnies revenues".

      • NorthernWVman

        really because when I head up to cabelas and all the stores around on a Saturday it sures does seem like an aweful lot of people are spending that money they do not have. Not to mention the restaurants are pretty much all full

      • Matt

        In other words its bad to make profits? That's why they're in the buisness. When did it become a horrible thing to make money, personal or corporate, in America. Have a buisness, but don't make too much profit or else its very bad for your image. Hire workers, but make enough for payroll and give the rest to charity. Look at Walmart or Mcdonalds. Very profitable, but poor wages and everyone still supports them.

        We all can't fart rainbows and pull 100k a year.....

      • ConservativeRealist

        I missed something somewhere...The job listings in the northern part of the state contain a host of jobs related to Marcellus Shale with pay ranges of between $15.00 an hour for unskilled labor to over $40.00 an hour for welders and other trades. In North Dakota's boom there was a joke in the New York Times that said the job applications ask two (2) questions - "Do you have a pulse?" and "When can you start?".

        And last time I checked, people go into business to make money - some call it profit(s). Many companies that make profits (a) pay dividends to their investor(s), (b) re-invest the profits into capital improvements and/or other business related expenses, or (c) pay higher wages and benefit packages. If they "keep" the profits and/or pay dividends, they, or their investors, have to pay taxes on them.

        Many people are envious of those who succeed and/or have money - all the while they wish they were the one(s) who were rich. The keys to success are hard work, being business savvy, having a well -defined and designed business plan, and taking measured risk(s). Or, we could all just share the wealth like they did in Mother Russia...hmmm, that worked really well until the late 1980's when it imploded because they couldn't keep out the corruption and needed capitalism to support all their failed socialist programs.

        "Hope and Change" is not an economic strategy..

  • wvman75

    For the love of goodness, will somebody please lock this phony up and then lose the key....and cellblock for that matter.

  • thornton

    "Look at me, look at me...please LOOK at ME!" says Cecil...."they good old days of Unions are not gone away with the times...really!"

    Cecil has much the same problem as Al Sharpton....dwindling relevancy in a better world.


    It's About Time Sister Union's Realize That If ARCH COAL WINS THIS Sinister Plan, YOUR UNION MAY BE THE NEXT ONE TO BE CHOPPED!!

  • AX MAN

    What happen to, three strikes and you are out???