Patriot Coal (OTC: PCXCQ), which has been in bankruptcy since July of last year, said July 2 that it is making progress in its discussions with the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) union over court-approved cuts in union benefits.
“Patriot Coal Corporation announced that recent talks with the UMWA have resulted in substantial progress toward a consensual resolution,” the company said. “On July 1, 2013, Patriot exercised the authority granted to it by the Bankruptcy Court to implement changes to wages, benefits and active employee healthcare, but chose to implement terms that are significantly improved from those approved by the court. Patriot and the UMWA are continuing to meet in a diligent effort to resolve the outstanding differences and reach a consensual agreement.”
Also, Patriot said that it and the UMWA have reached an agreement through which retiree healthcare will continue to be provided at current benefit levels through July and August. Negotiations are expected to continue over the coming weeks. The parties are targeting completion of a final resolution to be presented to UMWA members by the end of July, Patriot said.
St. Louis-based Patriot is a producer and marketer of coal in the eastern U.S., with 11 active mining complexes in Appalachia and western Kentucky. In 2012, Patriot sold a total of 24.9 million tons of coal, which was a reduction of almost 20% from the 31.1 million tons sold in 2011.