The United Mine Workers says 15 protesters were arrested in a non-violent demonstration outside the Peabody Energy Corporation building in downtown St. Louis Tuesday.
Patriot Coal was spun off from the energy company in 2007 and filed for bankruptcy last year. A federal appeals court ruled in August that Peabody Energy remains obligated to maintain health-care benefits for more than 3,100 retirees of Heritage Coal, another Peabody spinoff company.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Peabody Energy retirees are applauding a court ruling that it remains obligated to continue health-care benefits for some 3,100 retirees of one of the company's former holdings.
An 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' bankruptcy panel on Wednesday overturned U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kathy Surratt-States' May ruling that Peabody no longer was obliged to pay the benefits.
That ruling linked to the bankruptcy of Patriot Coal, which Peabody spun off in 2007.
While the United Mine Workers of America union cheered Wednesday's development, Peabody says the panel didn't rule on the level of funding required to meet future obligations.
Peabody adds the court found the company was obligated to make the payments until a new labor agreement was approved between Patriot and the UMWA. That came in recent days.
ELDORADO, Ill. (AP) - Peabody Energy is identifying a miner killed in an underground coal mine in southern Illinois as a 35-year-old Galatia man.
KFVS-TV reports St. Louis-based Peabody says Nathan Clarida died in the accident Tuesday afternoon in the Wildcat Hills Mine near Eldorado in Illinois' Saline County.
The Mine Safety and Health Administration says Clarida was hit by a ram car that was moving through a ventilation curtain
The 7-year-old Peabody mine, which employs 200 workers, is closed while authorities investigate the man's death.
Peabody said in a statement the accident was a "coal haulage incident."
An autopsy is planned to determine the exact cause of death.
St. Louis Based Peabody Energy plans to cut 450 jobs at Australian coal mines.
The St. Louis Business Journal reports along with Switzerland-based coal company Glencore Xstrata, a combined 500 mining jobs in Australia will be cut as global coal supplies push down prices.
The cuts will take place over the coming weeks across Peabody's operations in Queensland and New South Wales, where it mines both coking and thermal coal.
Prices for coking coal, used in steel making, have fallen about 40 percent in the last year while prices for thermal coal, used in power generation, have dropped 30 percent in the last two years, according to the news agency.
St. Louis-based Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU), the world's largest private-sector coal company, reported a loss of $575.1 million in fiscal 2012, on revenue of $8.1 billion.
St Louis based Peabody Energy is holding its annual shareholders meeting in Wyoming to highlight the importance of the coal-rich Powder River Basin.
A delegation of more than a dozen retired and active mine workers from West Virginia, Illinois, Kentucky and Florida are protesting.
One group critical of the company, Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, claims the company is trying to avoid hearing concerns in its hometown.
Meantime, thousands of protesting mine workers returned to St. Louis today as hearings begin in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on demands by Peabody's Patriot Coal Company. Miners accuse Peabody of eliminating health care for retired miners and for making cuts in pay, benefits and working conditions for current miners.
In a statement, Peabody Energy says "The union continues to grandstand when it knows that this matter will be decided in the courts. Patriot was highly successful following its launch more than five years ago with significant assets, low debt and a market value that more than quadrupled in less than a year. Peabody has lived up to its obligations and continues to do so. This is a matter between the union and Patriot Coal, and will be decided in the bankruptcy court."
Patriot Coal is offering the mine workers union a 35 percent stake in the reorganized company. The offer is aimed at winning support for benefit and wage cuts for thousands of active miners, retirees and beneficiaries. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Patriot sent the offer to the United Mine Workers of America on Wednesday.
The move comes less than three weeks before the Creve Coeur-based coal producer and the union are set to clash in a bankruptcy hearing after negotiating over the proposed cuts for months. Patriot says it must cut $150-million in operating expenses in order to survive. The company says they only place left to cut is wages and benefits.
Patriot spun off from St. Louis-based Peabody Energy in 2007, and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July of last year.
KTRS's Michael Golde is on the scene and reports that the protesters' goal was to get arrested. They hope to draw attention to what they believe is a unfair deal concerning their pension and health benefits.
Peabody's Senior Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications Vic Svec, says this is a matter between Patriot coal and the United Mine Workers of America. Many of the former miners at the protest, worked for Patriot Coal. They argue that Peabody Energy made Patriot Coal a separate company that was never supposed to succeed. They accuse Peabody of "fraudulent conveyance,” or transfer of money with the intent to hurt creditors, but that charge must be proved to hold Peabody liable for potential losses in retirement benefits.
There were also miners arrested at another protest of Peabody last month. The protest remains peaceful and those miners arrested were very cordial with police, even shaking hands with the arresting officers.