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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.