October 11, 2013
Washington, DC -- The National Consumers League, the nation’s pioneering consumer and worker advocacy organization, congratulates its allies at the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), who have reached a global settlement with Peabody Energy and Patriot Coal. This hard-fought settlement will provide funding of more than $400 million to cover future health care benefits for retirees affected by the bankruptcy of Patriot Coal.
NCL has long been allied with the cause of American workers and has a close and abiding relationship with the UMWA. In 2012, NCL honored UMWA President Cecil Roberts with the Trumpeter Award, NCL’s highest honor.
The following statement can be attributed to NCL's Sally Greenberg:
We are pleased for our UMWA brothers and sisters, as well as for all active American workers and retirees and are grateful for the indefatigable work of the UMWA to reach this global settlement with Peabody and Patriot,” said Sally Greenberg, the League’s Executive Director. “For months, UMWA has fought long and hard to find compromise, keep Patriot Coal operating, save jobs, and ensure the well-earned security of its retirees. We commend them for their success.
In April of this year, NCL joined one of many protests in St. Louis aimed at Patriot Coal’s bankruptcy that placed in jeopardy the pension and heath care benefits of UMWA retirees. NCL believes that Patriot was set up to fail when it was formed by Peabody with more liabilities than assets in 2007 and we have stood with our brothers and sisters at the UMWA to pressure legislators, Peabody, and Arch, to live up to the agreements they made with workers.
There’s no harder or more arduous job than going down into the mines for 12 hours a day. The work results in ailments from breathing in coal dust and Black Lung disease to injuries caused by the hard labor involved in mining. It’s only fair that these miners and their families get good lifetime health care and a decent retirement plan.
About the National Consumers League
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.