Nearly 2,000 UMWA members, retirees rally to keep benefits at Pa - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Nearly 2,000 UMWA members, retirees rally to keep benefits at Patriot Coal headquarters in WV

Posted: Updated:
  • EnergyEnergyMore>>

  • Many WV coal counties losing revenue

    Many WV coal counties losing revenue

    Monday, August 8 2016 10:15 AM EDT2016-08-08 14:15:05 GMT

    As Appalachian coal production continues its drastic decline, West Virginia’s coal-producing counties are  not only losing people as lifelong residents are forced to flee their homes in order to find work, but in many cases, they’re also relinquishing millions of dollars from their budgets.

    As Appalachian coal production continues its drastic decline, West Virginia’s coal-producing counties are  not only losing people as lifelong residents are forced to flee their homes in order to find work, but in many cases, they’re also relinquishing millions of dollars from their budgets.

Nearly 2,000 people from West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Kentucky convened at the Patriot Coal Corp. headquarters in Scott Depot, West Virginia Aug. 17 to protest the company’s attempts to shed their pension and health care liabilities through chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Led by United Mine Workers of America International President Cecil Roberts, between 1,500 and 1,800 UMWA members, retirees and their families — all donning matching camouflage T-shirts imprinted with the yellow UMWA logo — marched up to the Patriot facility Monday afternoon chanting “UMWA” and “We are union.”

The collective effort came as a response to Patriot’s attempts to shed its obligations as part of the bankruptcy process in order to pave a way to close its transaction with Kentucky-based Blackhawk Mining LLC. 

“No group of people sacrificed more to keep this company alive over the last three years than working and retired UMWA members and their families,” UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts said in a statement. “They gave up wages, benefits and more so that Patriot could continue to operate. Their thanks for that is a kick in the teeth from Patriot’s new Wall Street masters.”

And some attendees said this battle will certainly not be their last.

Shirley Hall, of Castlewood, Virginia, said she and her husband, a retired electrician who worked under the UMWA for 37 years, have had to fight for his pension and health care benefits before, and they’ll do it again.

“We’re going to fight to the very end, we don’t give up,” Hall said. “We’ll be back. This is not the end; this is only the beginning.”

Logan County, West Virginia native Greg Butcher, a 63-year-old retiree who worked for Arch Coal for 10 years before the operations were sold to Patriot, said he wasn’t just there for himself, but also for his family.

“We’re not here in this hot sun today because we like it (or) because we’re trying to be nice to them or anything,” Butcher said. “We’re trying to compromise, if nothing else.

“I want my benefits I earned that they promised me,” he added. “They lied, and now they’re trying to steal.”

Patriot has been working to restructure since it filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in May.

Just hours before the rally, the company announced its latest plan to “substantially all” of its assets and liabilities not included in the previous agreement with Blackhawk Mining LLC to an affiliate of Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund Inc. 

“The VCLF transaction just announced today is expected to provide future job opportunities for UMWA-affiliated employees at our Federal and Hobet mines,” Patriot said in a statement. “We believe that our efforts in securing both the VCLF and Blackhawk transactions represent the best possible outcome for our employees and other stakeholders. 

“Patriot expects to emerge from chapter 11 as expeditiously as possible and, as always, we are committed to operating safely and serving our customers throughout the sale process.”

 “We understand quite well that these are tough times in the coal industry, but to wipe out generations of progress so that a handful of New York bondholders can reap profits while leaving everyone else with absolutely nothing is just wrong,” he added. “We’re going to make sure Patriot understands that.”

  • More SportsMore>>

  • Izzo-Brown Inducted into WVSA Hall of Fame

    Izzo-Brown Inducted into WVSA Hall of Fame

    Monday, September 18 2017 1:34 PM EDT2017-09-18 17:34:43 GMT
    WVSA announces induction of WVU women’s soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown as meritorious member into WVSA Hall of Fame - Class of 2018. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)WVSA announces induction of WVU women’s soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown as meritorious member into WVSA Hall of Fame - Class of 2018. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    The West Virginia Soccer Association has announced the induction of WVU women's soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown, as a meritorious member into the WVSA Hall of Fame - Class of 2018.

    The West Virginia Soccer Association has announced the induction of WVU women's soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown, as a meritorious member into the WVSA Hall of Fame - Class of 2018.

  • Inside WVU Game Day: The Mountaineer Mascot

    Inside WVU Game Day: The Mountaineer Mascot

    Sunday, September 17 2017 10:32 AM EDT2017-09-17 14:32:13 GMT
    The Mountaineer Mascot celebrates a WVU touchdown at FedEx Field.The Mountaineer Mascot celebrates a WVU touchdown at FedEx Field.

    The atmosphere at Milan Puskar Stadium on game day is truly unlike any other and the Mountaineer mascot plays a big part in making the experience one of a kind.

    The atmosphere at Milan Puskar Stadium on game day is truly unlike any other and the Mountaineer mascot plays a big part in making the experience one of a kind.

  • No. 3 Mountaineers Swarm Spiders

    No. 3 Mountaineers Swarm Spiders

    Sunday, September 10 2017 5:18 PM EDT2017-09-10 21:18:38 GMT
    Michaela Abam and the WVU women's soccer team earned a 3-0 victory over Richmond on Sunday. (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone)Michaela Abam and the WVU women's soccer team earned a 3-0 victory over Richmond on Sunday. (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone)

    The No. 3-ranked WVU women’s soccer team earned its fifth win of the season on Sunday. Hear from Coach Izzo-Brown and the Mountaineers after the win.

    The No. 3-ranked WVU women’s soccer team earned its fifth win of the season on Sunday. Hear from Coach Izzo-Brown and the Mountaineers after the win.

  • FootballFootballMore>>

  • An Inside Look: The Dana Holgorsen Show

    An Inside Look: The Dana Holgorsen Show

    Get the inside scoop on this week’s Dana Holgorsen Show!    

    Get the inside scoop on this week’s Dana Holgorsen Show!    

  • Game Preview: WVU Starts Big 12 Play at KU

    Game Preview: WVU Starts Big 12 Play at KU

    WVU quarterback Will Grier talks with receiver David Sills during Saturday's game against Delaware St. game.WVU quarterback Will Grier talks with receiver David Sills during Saturday's game against Delaware St. game.
    By Ryan Decker  With a pair of relatively easy victories under their belts, the West Virginia Mountaineers (2-1) travel to Lawrence, Kansas to take on the Jayhawks (1-2) as conference play begins. WVU is one of three one-loss teams in the Big 12, whereas Kansas is one of only three teams in the conference with a losing record.  Despite not facing one of the premier programs, WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen said Tuesday you can’t overlook Kansas.  “This w...
    By Ryan Decker  With a pair of relatively easy victories under their belts, the West Virginia Mountaineers (2-1) travel to Lawrence, Kansas to take on the Jayhawks (1-2) as conference play begins. WVU is one of three one-loss teams in the Big 12, whereas Kansas is one of only three teams in the conference with a losing record.  Despite not facing one of the premier programs, WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen said Tuesday you can’t overlook Kansas.  “This w...
  • WVU Defense Builds Depth Through Injury

    WVU Defense Builds Depth Through Injury

    WVU senior linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton celebrates a sack against Delaware State. (PHOTO: Scott Lituchy)WVU senior linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton celebrates a sack against Delaware State. (PHOTO: Scott Lituchy)

    Dylan Tonkery, Marvin Gross and Kenny Robinson step up for the Mountaineer defense as team deals with injuries and open competition. 

    Dylan Tonkery, Marvin Gross and Kenny Robinson step up for the Mountaineer defense as team deals with injuries and open competition. 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Game Preview: WVU Starts Big 12 Play at KU

    Game Preview: WVU Starts Big 12 Play at KU

    WVU quarterback Will Grier talks with receiver David Sills during Saturday's game against Delaware St. game.WVU quarterback Will Grier talks with receiver David Sills during Saturday's game against Delaware St. game.
    By Ryan Decker  With a pair of relatively easy victories under their belts, the West Virginia Mountaineers (2-1) travel to Lawrence, Kansas to take on the Jayhawks (1-2) as conference play begins. WVU is one of three one-loss teams in the Big 12, whereas Kansas is one of only three teams in the conference with a losing record.  Despite not facing one of the premier programs, WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen said Tuesday you can’t overlook Kansas.  “This w...
    By Ryan Decker  With a pair of relatively easy victories under their belts, the West Virginia Mountaineers (2-1) travel to Lawrence, Kansas to take on the Jayhawks (1-2) as conference play begins. WVU is one of three one-loss teams in the Big 12, whereas Kansas is one of only three teams in the conference with a losing record.  Despite not facing one of the premier programs, WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen said Tuesday you can’t overlook Kansas.  “This w...
  • Woman's Body Found in Kanawha River Idenitified

    Woman's Body Found in Kanawha River Idenitified

    Friday, September 22 2017 7:33 PM EDT2017-09-22 23:33:57 GMT
    Photojournalist Randy McKinneyPhotojournalist Randy McKinney

    KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) - A body has been found in the Kanawha River. The body was discovered around 11:10 a.m. near Dow Chemical on Blaine Island near South Charleston according to dispatchers. South Charleston Police are currently investigating the incident. No other details are available at this time. We will provide more information on this story as soon as we receive it.

    KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) - A body has been found in the Kanawha River. The body was discovered around 11:10 a.m. near Dow Chemical on Blaine Island near South Charleston according to dispatchers. South Charleston Police are currently investigating the incident. No other details are available at this time. We will provide more information on this story as soon as we receive it.

  • WVU Receivers Competitive on Field, in Room

    WVU Receivers Competitive on Field, in Room

    Gary Jennings (12), Marcus Simms (8) and Justin Crawford celebrate a WVU touchdown. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)Gary Jennings (12), Marcus Simms (8) and Justin Crawford celebrate a WVU touchdown. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    Mountaineers push each other while positioning themselves to come away as Will Grier's favorite target on game day. 

    Mountaineers push each other while positioning themselves to come away as Will Grier's favorite target on game day. 

  • WVU Defense Builds Depth Through Injury

    WVU Defense Builds Depth Through Injury

    WVU senior linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton celebrates a sack against Delaware State. (PHOTO: Scott Lituchy)WVU senior linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton celebrates a sack against Delaware State. (PHOTO: Scott Lituchy)

    Dylan Tonkery, Marvin Gross and Kenny Robinson step up for the Mountaineer defense as team deals with injuries and open competition. 

    Dylan Tonkery, Marvin Gross and Kenny Robinson step up for the Mountaineer defense as team deals with injuries and open competition. 

  • An Inside Look: The Dana Holgorsen Show

    An Inside Look: The Dana Holgorsen Show

    Get the inside scoop on this week’s Dana Holgorsen Show!    

    Get the inside scoop on this week’s Dana Holgorsen Show!    

  • Quotes from Coach: Crawford's Consistency, Big 12 Familiarity, Injury Update

    Quotes from Coach: Crawford's Consistency, Big 12 Familiarity, Injury Update

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 12:40 PM EDT2017-09-20 16:40:58 GMT

    In the latest Quotes from Coach, Holgorsen discusses Kansas challenges, Crawford's consistency and gives an injury update.

    In the latest Quotes from Coach, Holgorsen discusses Kansas challenges, Crawford's consistency and gives an injury update.

  • 2017-18 WVU Men’s Basketball Schedule

    2017-18 WVU Men’s Basketball Schedule

    Bob Huggins looks on as the Mountaineers practice at the SAP Center in San Jose. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)Bob Huggins looks on as the Mountaineers practice at the SAP Center in San Jose. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (August 31, 2017) – West Virginia University Director of Athletics Shane Lyons and the Big 12 Conference have announced the 2017-18 men’s basketball schedule. 

    MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (August 31, 2017) – West Virginia University Director of Athletics Shane Lyons and the Big 12 Conference have announced the 2017-18 men’s basketball schedule. 

  • WVi Has Moved!

    WVi Has Moved!

    Friday, September 2 2011 1:45 PM EDT2011-09-02 17:45:05 GMT
    Don't worry, wvillustrated.com is still alive and well. WVi has upgraded to a brand new and improved website. Please check out http://www.wvillustrated.com/ We hope you enjoy the new WVi experience.