Alpha seeks elimination of non-union retiree benefits

CHARLESTON, WV (AP) — Coal operator Alpha Natural Resources is seeking to eliminate health and other non-pension benefits for more than 4,500 non-union retirees.

Bristol, Virginia-based Alpha says in a recent bankruptcy court filing that the benefits cost it about $2.7 million in 2014 and represent a liability of about $125 million.

The benefits include life insurance and subsidies to reimburse retirees for buying medical coverage through health care exchanges.

If approved, Alpha says the elimination of benefits would be effective Dec. 31.

A hearing on the company’s motion is set for Nov. 17 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Richmond, Virginia.

Alpha filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Aug. 3. The company has coal operations in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Wyoming.
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