UMWA returning to St Louis for rally

MEMBERS of the United Mine Workers of America will be encircling the Peabody Energy headquarters Tuesday in downtown St Louis, Missouri, in the union’s eighth demonstration in four months.
UMWA returning to St Louis for rally UMWA returning to St Louis for rally UMWA returning to St Louis for rally UMWA returning to St Louis for rally UMWA returning to St Louis for rally


Donna Schmidt

The event, also the 11th to be held in the greater St Louis area this year, will begin at 10am local time at the Crowne Plaza and continue through the city to the headquarters building where members will literally make a human circle around the building.

The rally portion of the demonstration will then be held at Kiener Plaza, just across from the Peabody building.

UMWA officials said Friday in a confirmation of its plans for September 24 that it was expecting several speakers including union president Cecil Roberts, AFL-CIO Missouri union president Hugh McVey, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists Terrence Melvin, CWA District 6 vice president Claude Cummings and Episcopal Diocese of Missouri’s Reverend Jonathan Stratton.

“The Patriot Coal chapter of this fight is behind us, now it’s time for Peabody Energy and Arch Coal to meet their responsibilities,” Roberts said Friday.

Last month, the union came to a settlement with Patriot officials for a healthcare structure for union retirees; however, Roberts said long-term funding for those benefits had not been secured.

The union also won a court ruling in August that established Peabody’s continued obligations to about 3100 miners and their dependents whose benefits were with Peabody at the time of the Patriot spinoff in 2007.

Arch Coal spun off Magnum Coal in 2005, which was ultimately acquired by Patriot.

“This fight is anything but over,” Roberts said.

“Executives of these companies have to understand that miners and their families know the real story of what happened here – and because of our efforts, so do millions of working people across the country.

“Men and women worked underground for decades to earn these benefits. These companies are profitable, and they must step up to meet their obligations to these retirees.”

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