SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 26
(By Senators Kessler (Mr. President), Stollings, Yost, Fitzsimmons and Wells)
Calling upon Patriot Coal to live up to their obligations to active and retired miners, their families and widows.
Whereas, The United Mine Workers of America has secured health care and pensions for retired coal miners and widows, through decades of collective bargaining; and
Whereas, The gains made for working miners as a result of collective bargaining are now being threatened through the use of the bankruptcy proceedings; and
Whereas, Peabody's spin off of Patriot Coal jeopardizes the current collective bargaining agreement for active UMWA members at Patriot operations; and
Whereas, Peabody's spin off of Patriot Coal jeopardizes retiree pensions and health care via Patriot's bankruptcy action; and
Whereas, Actions taken by Peabody and Arch to shed themselves of promised health and retirement benefits through corporate schemes could also hurt coal retiree's pensions and health care; and
Whereas, The loss of promised health care and retirement benefits jeopardizes the health and security of UMWA active, laid off and retired members and their dependants; and
Whereas, The loss of promised health care and retirement benefits, if not addressed, could push many local communities into a financial crisis; and
Whereas, All coal field communities have a significant interest in fighting to maintain retiree pensions and health care for our citizens; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Legislature hereby calls upon Patriot Coal to live up to their obligations to active and retired miners, their families and widows; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the West Virginia Legislature pledges the United Mine Workers of America and its membership to join in the fight to protect and maintain mine workers' pensions and health care from assaults by these and other coal operators; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the West Virginia Legislature calls upon Peabody, Arch and Patriot to live up to their obligations to provide coal miners' health care and retirement security; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the West Virginia Legislature calls upon others to assist in preventing these corporations from stripping from active, laid off and retired coal miners their contractually promised lifetime health care benefits.