The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) on July 10 filed an objection to bankrupt Patriot Coal’s proposed “key employee” bonus plan that would distribute nearly $6.4 million in bonuses to management employees, including $3.5 million to the company’s five most highly-compensated employees.
“At a time when Patriot is attempting to rid itself of obligations to workers, retirees, widows and families, it is simply outrageous that the five people who already make the most money in the company are getting hundreds of thousands more,” UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts said. “For what? On what planet does it make sense to reward people who preside over bankrupt companies?”
Patriot Coal filed its second Chapter 11 bankruptcy in three years on May 12. Miners represented by the UMWA made significant concessions to keep the company afloat in the company’s 2012-13 bankruptcy, and the company was relieved of its retiree health care obligations as well.
“No group of people have sacrificed more for this company than UMWA active and retired members,” Roberts said. “We have given up wages and benefits. We have seen the promise of lifetime health care benefits for retirees and widows put at risk. We are the ones who have made the sacrifices to keep this company going.”
“But our reward is to see millions in bonuses going to executives and management employees,” Roberts said. “This is not shared sacrifice. It’s a slap in the face to every active hourly worker and their families, every retiree, every widow who is affected by this bankruptcy.”
The bankruptcy case is filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond.