UPDATE: UMWA Holding 14th Patriot Protest in WV Tuesday

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

UPDATE: 7/9/13 11:33 AM CDT

FAIRMONT, W.Va. (AP) -- Thirty people have been arrested during a United Mine Workers of America protest against Patriot Coal in West Virginia.

UMWA President Cecil Roberts and AFL-CIO Vice President Arlene Holt-Baker are among those arrested.

The UMWA says 5,000 people attended Tuesday's protest in Fairmont.

They came from Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard told the crowd that every union is threatened if Patriot gets away with shedding legacy costs and breaking promises.

Last week, Patriot said it's imposing less severe wage and benefit cuts on its miners than it could have under a court ruling. The company also said it will keep retired workers' health plans unchanged for the next two months.

FAIRMONT, W.Va. (AP) — The United Mine Workers of America is bringing thousands of coal miners and their families to West Virginia for what will be the union's 14th protest over bankrupt Patriot Coal's plan to cut benefits.

President Cecil Roberts, United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard and AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt are scheduled to speak Tuesday at in Fairmont.

The UMWA booked 25 buses for the event. Other protesters are driving in.

People are coming from Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia to protest St. Louis-based Patriot's planned cutoff of retiree health benefits, and wage and benefit reductions for active miners.

Union spokesman Phil Smith says there have been 13 previous rallies: eight in St. Louis; three in Charleston; one in Evansville, Ind.; and one in Henderson, Ky.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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