ST. LOUIS, Sept. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU) today announced that the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) had previously rejected an offer in settlement of all claims with the UMWA, payable over 15 years, which could also have been used to provide 3,100 Patriot Coal retirees with lifetime healthcare benefits comparable to those of Peabody's active corporate employees.
Senior Vice President of Global Investor and Corporate Relations Vic Svec said that the settlement offer could have been used to fund the newly-established Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association that will provide healthcare benefits to retirees in the wake of Patriot's bankruptcy.
"UMWA President Cecil Roberts claims to be concerned about his members," said Svec. "So why did he not accept a settlement amount large enough to provide 3,100 retirees with lifetime healthcare benefits comparable with those of Peabody's active corporate employees? The UMWA retirees who have been traveling to St. Louis to rally for healthcare benefits have a right to know that a good faith settlement offer was on the table, and that union leadership rejected it."
Since Patriot's launch in 2007, Peabody has been funding Patriot's healthcare obligations for some 3,100 retirees under contractual agreement. The mid-August offer was to settle all claims with the UMWA and the union would not accept these terms, despite the fact that Peabody's contractual obligation, at any level, has been relieved by new agreements between Patriot Coal and the UMWA.
Peabody Energy is the world's largest private-sector coal company and a global leader in sustainable mining and clean coal solutions. The company serves metallurgical and thermal coal customers in more than 25 countries on six continents. For further information, go to PeabodyEnergy.com and CoalCanDoThat.com.
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SOURCE Peabody Energy