EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSUMWA Says Global Settlement Reached With Peabody, Patriot
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Associated Press
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Oct. 10, 2013 8:36 AM EDT
Updated: Oct. 10, 2013 7:07 PM EDT
The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) has reached a global settlement with Peabody Energy and Patriot Coal that will provide funding of more than $400 million to cover future health care benefits for retirees affected by the bankruptcy of Patriot Coal, the UMWA said.
Those benefits will be paid by the Patriot Retirees Voluntary Employee Benefit Association, according to a news release from the UMWA.
Peabody will make payments totaling $310 million over the next four years, the proceeds of which will be applied to future retiree health care benefits. Payments of $90 million will be made in 2014, followed by payments of $75 million each year at the beginning of 2015 and 2016, with a final payment of $70 million at the beginning of 2017.
Patriot has agreed to contribute $15 million to the Retirees Voluntary Benefit Association in 2014, with up to an additional $60 million to be paid into the fund over the following three years. This is in addition to the production-based royalty payments Patriot will make to the Retirees Voluntary Benefit Association in upcoming years that could provide more than $15 million.
For its part, the UMWA has agreed to relinquish the value of virtually all of its 35 percent stake in Patriot, which the union received as a result of a May 29 ruling by federal Bankruptcy Judge Kathy Surratt-States. The union has also agreed to halt its months-long public relations and direct action effort related to Peabody in St. Louis and elsewhere regarding the effects of the Patriot Coal bankruptcy.
The release said settlement will be submitted to Judge Surratt-States for her approval. She is expected to rule shortly after a Nov. 6 hearing on this matter, the UMWA said.
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