WASHINGTON, AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr.was arrested today in St. Louis, Mo. as he stood in solidarity with members of the United Mine Workers of America in their fight to protect the pensions and health care benefits of retirees of the Peabody Energy Corp. and its Patriot Coal Corp. spin-off company.
“I am proud to stand with these brave workers who for years put their lives on the line while Peabody padded its own bottom line,” said Cox, who was arrested along with UMWA International President Cecil Roberts.
“The workers earned, and were promised, a fair pension and health care benefits. Reneging on these promises is nothing more than corporate theft, and although nobody likes getting arrested, this situation calls out for civil disobedience. Our brothers in the UMW earned their retirement benefits, and I could not stand by while Peabody attempts to deprive them of what belongs to them.”
Peabody Energy launched Patriot Coal in 2007 as a spin-off company. Patriot Coal ultimately filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2012, claiming annual employee obligations as a source of financial distress.
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.