Miners union, bankrupt St. Louis-based Patriot Coal reach deal - KMOV.com

Miners union, bankrupt St. Louis-based Patriot Coal reach deal

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By Brendan Marks By Brendan Marks
By Eric Lorenz By Eric Lorenz
By Brendan Marks By Brendan Marks
By Brendan Marks By Brendan Marks

ST. LOUIS -- The nation’s biggest miners’ union and Patriot Coal Co. say they have reached a potential settlement over the severity of wage and benefits cuts a bankruptcy judge had allowed the company to impose.

The United Mine Workers of America isn’t publicly revealing details of the deal, pending Friday’s scheduled ratification vote by its members. St. Louis-based Patriot also isn’t releasing the terms.

But the union says the deal significantly improves upon the cuts Patriot was empowered to make under the May 29 court ruling that allowed it to abandon its collective-bargaining agreements with the union.

Patriot’s president and CEO Bennett Hatfield says the “successful conclusion of a difficult negotiation” helps the company avoid liquidation.

Patriot says it will seek the bankruptcy court’s authorization to enter into the agreement.

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