A spokesman for the United Mine Workers of America said several people from Southern Illinois attended Monday’s rally against Peabody Energy Corp. and Patriot Coal Corp. in St. Louis.

“We had busloads of people from Southern Illinois,” UMWA spokesman Phil Smith said.

A UMWA news release issued Monday stated that 6,000 protestors rallied at Peabody’s downtown St. Louis headquarters for an hour before marching six blocks to the federal courthouse where Patriot’s bankruptcy hearing was being held.

Patriot filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July because of large legacy debts, including healthcare and pensions.

Patriot was spun off from Peabody in 2007.

About 400 Southern Illinois coal miners got pink slips in November when Big Ridge Inc., a Peabody subsidiary, closed its Willow Lake Mine in Saline County because of safety concerns.

Miner Chad Wayne Meyers of Goreville was killed Nov. 17 when he was pinned by a continuous miner.

The closure came as the UMWA and Big Ridge were in contract negotiations, though Smith was said in December the closure and contract talks were unrelated.

“There was no relation between the mine’s closing and negotiations,” Smith said in the Dec. 2 edition of The Southern Illinoisan. “We began to develop good relations, and we were looking forward to moving on.”

(1) comment


Interesting......The United Mine Workers of America have a legitimate b-tch here. I am not conversed they are right BUT this appears to be some shady stuff.......

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