Patriot CEO wants ‘to
set the record straight’
Recent media reports have included a number of factual inaccuracies and personal attacks about Patriot Coal and our proposal to employees and retirees represented by the United Mine Workers of America. Given that Patriot’s survival and thousands of jobs are at stake, we believe it is important to set the record straight.
Patriot’s proposal to the UMWA does not aim to “throw out” the collective bargaining agreements. In fact, we are only seeking to modify union employees’ wages and benefits so that they are in line with the regional labor markets and with non-represented workers who do the same jobs at other Patriot operations.
Additionally, Patriot is not proposing to eliminate healthcare or pensions for UMWA retirees. Rather, our proposal allows for continued healthcare coverage for union retirees at a level that Patriot can afford. The proposal is expected to make hundreds of millions of dollars available to fund these benefits.
We are not here to defend Peabody Energy or any of the decisions related to the spinoffs that created Patriot Coal. Reasonable questions have been asked — and those questions deserve answers. Patriot has already filed a lawsuit against Peabody to hold them accountable for healthcare obligations assumed in the spin-off.
The company’s proposal to the UMWA was not driven by corporate greed, immorality or some desire to break longstanding promises, but rather by the recognition that Patriot simply cannot emerge from bankruptcy unless we find a way to be able to pay for our obligations on an ongoing basis. Patriot’s goal is to obtain the significant cost reductions we need to survive. Otherwise, the company will face the very likely possibility of liquidation, which would result in the loss of thousands of good jobs and have a devastating economic impact for our communities and the families of our employees and retirees.
Bennett K. Hatfield
President and Chief Executive Officer
Patriot CEO wants ‘to
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- Mount Hope fun
HFT announces its 2014 season
The year 2014 brings exciting new opportunities to the Historic Fayette Theater. Once again, Main Stage shows will form the core of the presentations, while special programming comprises the Second Season. These shows are designated as Second Season because they are often pre-cast and offer HFT regulars new opportunities.
Help offered for ACA enrollment
March 31 is the final deadline to apply for private health insurance coverage through the Individual Marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act.
Going to the fair
Several area students participated in last Saturday’s Fayette County Social Studies Fair at Oak Hill High School.
Local food producers highlighted
The West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition will host an exhibition of local food producers in the Beckley/southern West Virginia area March 13 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Dream Center.
Symphony, chorus spring season begins March 3
The spring season of the New River Youth Symphony & Chorus opens on Monday, March 3 at Oak Hill High School and musicians and singers are welcome to join.
Two notable Fayette County singers presented the national anthem prior to the Division 1 championship game at
the West Virginia Hometown Invitational Tournament at Midland Trail High School over the weekend.
New River Health issues enrollment challenge to schools
A group of Fayette County schools has been issued a challenge. It’s not just any ol’ school yard dare, though.
Meadow Bridge man arrested for allegedly firing gun
A Meadow Bridge man was taken to Southern Regional Jail after allegedly firing a gun outside and pointing the gun at his wife following an argument with his stepdaughter Sunday night.
Two arrested for drugs
Two men were arrested in Fayette County as part of an ongoing drug investigation, a press release from the county sheriff’s office said.
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