(KMOV.com) – Ten people were arrested as members of the United Mine Workers of America marched at Peabody Energy’s headquarters in downtown St. Louis Wednesday to protest bankruptcy proceedings that could affect employee benefits.
About 1,000 protesters rallied in Kiener Plaza around 10 a.m. According to reports, hundreds of coal miners and their families traveled from other states to protest recent maneuvers by Peabody, Arch Coal and Patriot Coal to cheat active and retired employees out of their health care benefits.
“Peabody and Arch executives are shifting around like sand on a beach, trying to evade their obligations to the workers who made the company wealthy,” said UMWA President Cecil Roberts. “But UMWA members are solid as the rock we mine for a living. We will not rest until we win justice for the workers who were promised health care benefits in exchange for a lifetime of hazardous work.”
Ten protestors sat in the street outside the Peabody headquarters and refused to move. They were arrested by St. Louis police. Otherwise, the protest has been peaceful, according to reports. St. Louis police officers remained in a line outside the building to react in case the protest got out of hand.
Patriot spokeswoman Janine Orf says the benefits cuts are part of the effort to save the company.
News 4 will continue to follow the latest developments.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.