Patriot Coal, one of the largest coal producers in the United States, has had its bankruptcy case moved to a court in Missouri following a ruling last week.
According to Reuters, the United Mine Workers of America argued that the proceedings should be transferred to a venue closer to the company’s operations. The bankruptcy case was taking place in Manhattan.
Appeasing the union, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman in Manhattan moved the case to St. Louis, Missouri, where the company is based. According to the news service, Patriot Coal is expected to seek significant cuts in retiree pension and health benefits through the bankruptcy.
In her ruling, Chapman said that Patriot Coal “incorporated two units in New York in the weeks leading up to its bankruptcy, essentially for the purpose of establishing venue there – a move that, while technically legal, was “simply not fair’,” according to Reuters.
“Nobody has ever mined one ounce of coal in Manhattan,” the union said in a statement last week. “This decision brings the case to the heart of the Illinois coal basin, home to many of our active and retired members and their families.”
The company released its own statement saying it respected the decision. “We remain focused on using the reorganization process to ensure the company’s future viability as a competitor and employer in a challenging market environment,” it said in a statement.
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