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Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:18 PM

In the Coal Fields, a Novel Way to Get Rid of Pensions Is Born

http://truth-out.org/news/item/13691-in-the-coal-fields-a-novel-way-to-get-rid-of-pensions-is-born

Morgantown, West Virginia - If you are an individual struggling with debt, your options are limited. But if you are a coal company, you may be able to take advantage of a creative new strategy to shed your obligations.

Over the past decade, Peabody Energy and Arch Coal, the nation's largest coal companies, offloaded large amounts of retiree healthcare obligations to new companies that now face bankruptcy. The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) says that the spin-offs were designed to fail in order to clean the companies' books of their retiree debts.

In 2007, Peabody Energy spun off a new company, Patriot Coal, which inherited 10 unionized mines in Kentucky and West Virginia. Along with the mines, Patriot took on $557 million in healthcare obligations to UMWA retirees. In 2008, Patriot bought Magnum, which had been similarly spun off from Arch Coal three years earlier. From Magnum, Patriot inherited another $500 million in obligations to retired miners, according to the UMWA.

Oddly, for a 5-year-old company, Patriot wound up with nearly three times as many retirees as active employees, more than 90 percent of whom never worked for the company. Overburdened by its debts, in July of 2012 Patriot declared bankruptcy.

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Arrow 26 replies Author Time Post
Reply In the Coal Fields, a Novel Way to Get Rid of Pensions Is Born (Original post)
Coyotl Jan 2013 OP
MountainLaurel Jan 2013 #1
mike_c Jan 2013 #2
reteachinwi Jan 2013 #16
WillyT Jan 2013 #3
Angry Dragon Jan 2013 #4
Coyotl Jan 2013 #18
leftstreet Jan 2013 #5
liberal N proud Jan 2013 #6
KamaAina Jan 2013 #7
KamaAina Jan 2013 #8
bongbong Jan 2013 #9
Scuba Jan 2013 #10
RedstDem Jan 2013 #11
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #12
Pakid Jan 2013 #13
a kennedy Jan 2013 #14
nineteen50 Jan 2013 #15
cpamomfromtexas Jan 2013 #17
quakerboy Jan 2013 #19
Coyotl Jan 2013 #23
SheilaT Jan 2013 #20
japple Jan 2013 #21
marble falls Jan 2013 #22
99Forever Jan 2013 #24
Redfairen Jan 2013 #25
bvar22 Jan 2013 #26

Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:25 PM

1. Doesn't surprise me in the least

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:30 PM

2. fucking rat bastards....

THIS is why we need strong regulation of corporations. VERY strong regulation.

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Response to mike_c (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 04:10 PM

16. and single payer health care

 

Employers are not willing to provide this benefit any longer.

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:32 PM

3. HUGE K & R !!!






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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:46 PM

4. Life in prison for them all

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 04:23 PM

18. Now we are talking. This is "criminal" conduct, defrauding people.

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:48 PM

5. DURec

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:48 PM

6. Companies are just doing anything they can to get out from under things they promised employees

Pensions are a thing of the past even for those who have worked 40 years banking on getting one when they retire.



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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:50 PM

7. Sen. Warren, pickup on Line One

Elizabeth Warren, Line One.

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:53 PM

8. Why can't San Jose do that?

We've got filthy 47%er bloodsucking pensioned union retirees, too. Why can't Mayor Reed just declare that they actually worked for the City of Reedville, then annex it back into San Jose? Problem solved!

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 03:02 PM

9. They HAD to do it

 

After all, other people at the club were laughing at the coal company executives because they only had 3 yachts.

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 03:24 PM

10. Despicable.

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 03:56 PM

11. CEO's of such buisnesses that do these type of things to people

should face the death penalty.

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 03:58 PM

12. We need a Democratic Congress and we need to get them to do something about this problem.

ERISA is a joke in this respect.

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 03:59 PM

13. This is the Republican plan for us

Bankrupt everything and leaves us with nothing!!!!

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 04:01 PM

14. This just makes me so angry.......

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 04:05 PM

15. No need to

regulate corporations they will regulate themselves morally and ethically.

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 04:20 PM

17. More examples of Bankruptcies of Convenience. They're following the airline model of bankruptcies

If this congress does anything it should start by outlawing these types of bankruptcies.

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 04:24 PM

19. Perhaps they,

Like the USPS, should be forced to immediately pre fund all retirement benefits for workers.

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Response to quakerboy (Reply #19)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 06:28 PM

23. That should be the law of the land, secured pensions.

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 04:34 PM

20. Sadly, this has been going on for years.

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 04:38 PM

21. This is SOP for vulture capitalists and corporate raiders. I know of people who were employed

by textile mills in the Southeast in the 1970s and 1980s who lost their pensions when the industry went through a recession. People who had worked for 30 and 40 years for a company lost their pensions. I knew one man who had to go back to work when he was between 65 and 70 yrs. old. He and his wife were trying to help out their children and grandchildren, but with the pension gone, he couldn't make it on Social Security alone.

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 05:09 PM

22. I dreamt I saw....

Joe Hill last night
Alive as you or me.

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 06:37 PM

24. Our government ALLOWS this to happen.

Yes, these corporate assholes deserve to be locked up permanently. IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, instead all of the execs will walk away scot-free and rich as fuck.

But the fact that our FEDERAL DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE does absolutely nothing to stop it should piss you off even more.

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 07:16 PM

25. k/r*

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 01:11 PM

26. Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away

Paradise
aka Mr. Peabody's Coal Train
written & recorded by John Prine

https://

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