More than 2,000 Mine Workers (UMWA) members and retirees, other union members and faith and community activists rallied outside the St. Louis corporate headquarters of Peabody Energy in the latest action demanding fairness for the active and retired miners caught in the 2012 boardroom-orchestrated bankruptcy of Patriot Coal.
A number of workers and retirees took arrest as they sat down in nonviolent civil disobedience on the front steps of Peabody’s building.
Peabody created Patriot solely for the purpose of ducking health care and other obligations for about miners and retirees, says the UMWA.
We're not going away until we get justice. Peabody created Patriot to fail, and I am determined that that is not going to happen….We need to put pressure on Peabody because they stole from us….And I'm telling you today, Peabody, it ain't over. Because you still owe your retirees.
AFT President Randi Weingarten, who took arrest for civil disobedience, told the crowd:
We're here because we understand that this fight is about the oldest fight in America: that if you work hard, then America's corporations can't turn their backs on workers.
We’re back at Peabody because that’s where this problem started. Executives at Peabody Energy created Patriot, they failed to give it enough assets to meet its obligations, and we’re not going to sit idly by and let miners and their families pay the price