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Union opposes Patriot asset sale

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World Coal,

The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) has said it will oppose the sale of Patriot Coal’s assets to Blackhawk mining. The sale has been proposed as part of Patriot’s bankruptcy plans but would not include labour liabilities, such UMWA contracts.

Patriot reentered Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month, less than two years after it emerged from its first spell with “painful and significant negotiated concessions from the UMWA, the union said in a court filing.

The union also criticised the bidding process for Patriot’s assets as discouraging other potential buyers. The sales process “proposes unrealistically short time constraints and deadlines” on the sale, which Patriot and Blackhawk had wanted to close by September.

“The UMWA supports a fair and open auction process to maximise value for all constituents, to protect jobs and promised employee and retiree benefits. However, simply put, that is not that processs,” said the union.

Patriot Coal was formed in 2007 when Peabody Energy spun off its coal assets in West Virginia and Illinois. Blackhawk Mining was founded in 2010 and is based in Lexington, Kentucky. It owns mines in West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, selling metallurgical, thermal, PCI, stoker and specialty coals from the Central Appalachian and thermal coal from the Illinois Basin coal.

Edited by . Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 

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