Fairness At Patriot Coal

Have you heard of Patriot Coal? Peabody Energy and Arch Coal have concocted a scheme to maximize profits and deprive workers of their healthcare and pension. Van Jones, Green for All's Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, and United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Richards explain:

Companies declare bankruptcy every day. But Patriot Coal’s bankruptcy is different. It appears to be part of a cynical plot by Peabody and Arch—a scheme choreographed to maximize profits at the expense of their own workers.

Peabody Energy and Arch Coal created the companies that became today’s Patriot Coal mainly for the purpose of shirking their obligations to coal miners, retirees and widows. Peabody and Arch used Patriot as a “dummy” vehicle to shed responsibility for retirement benefits they owed their employees, most  of whom are active and retired members of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA).

In other words: Patriot’s bankruptcy petition last year was not the result of a failed business plan. Bankruptcy WAS the business plan, all along. Now Chapter 11 may allow the company to slip out of its health care obligations to thousands of coal mining families, while shielding and maintaining the massive profits of Peabody Energy and Arch Coal.

Here's Van at the rally:

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