CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The president of the United Mine Workers of America and nine other leaders have been arrested while protesting outside the St. Louis headquarters of Peabody Energy.
Peabody is one of the companies the union holds responsible for Patriot Coal's bankruptcy.
That bankruptcy jeopardizes pension and health care benefits for some 20,000 people, mostly in West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.
Current and former miners from those states rallied Tuesday at a federal building in St. Louis, then marched to Peabody headquarters and sat down in the street.
Spokesman Phil Smith says the 10 were charged with obstructing traffic.
The union says saving families' benefits may not mean much to Wall Street, but to active and retired coal miners, health benefits can mean the difference between life and death.
Original Story 1/29/2013:
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - About 175 West Virginia coal mining families are picketing in St. Louis as the United Mine Workers of America tries to salvage health care benefits for retirees and widows from Patriot Coal's bankruptcy.
Miners from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio are also planning to join the protest Tuesday outside the federal building and the headquarters of one company the union blames for the bankruptcy, Peabody Energy.
The bankruptcy affects more than 10,000 retirees and 10,000 dependents, mostly in those states.
Patriot calls its pension and health care programs unsustainable legacies.
A judge moved Patriot's case to St. Louis in November. An $802 million financing package is letting it continue operating while it restructures.
The Charleston Daily Mail says the UMWA posted billboard and TV ads ahead of the hearing.