Tuesday, May 21, 2013

ALEC Corp Member - Yes, We Can - Screw the Workers

I guess if you can’t enact right-to-work for less as an ALEC member – you can find other ways to screw union workers.

Patriot Coal, created by Peabody Energy 2007 with 43 percent of Peabody’s liabilities but just 11 percent of its assets, filed for bankruptcy in July, 2012. Patriot has filed motions demanding the effective elimination of the current system of health care for retired miners and drastic pay and benefit cuts for active workers. U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Kathy Surratt-States is scheduled to rule on the company’s motions on or before May 29.

Because Patriot was created with insufficient assets to meet its liabilities to retired miners, analysts such as Bruce Rader, Professor of Finance at Temple University, have described the company as “designed to fail.”  Current Patriot CEO Ben Hatfield has acknowledged that “something doesn’t smell right” about the manner in which his company was founded.

In 2008, Patriot acquired Magnum Coal, a company created by Arch Coal featuring a similar shift of assets and liabilities.

Peabody Energy and Arch Coal executives claim that because Patriot and Magnum were spun off years ago, they have nothing to with the current litigation. But nearly all of the retired miners who may lose their health care worked most or all of their careers for Peabody or Arch, not Patriot.

Peabody Energy, Private Enterprise Board member,[1] State corporate co-chair of Illinois and Wyoming,[12] 2011 winner of ALEC's Private Sector Member of the Year Award,[66] "Chairman" level sponsor of 2011 ALEC Annual Conference[17] ($50,000 in 2010),[18] sponsor of the 2012 States & Nation Policy Summit in Washington, DC.[20] and gave $2,000 to Arizona ALEC Scholarship Fund in January 2010 and another $2,000 in July 2010.[122] Also a member of ALEC's Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force.[53]

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