Monday, August 09, 2004
Annals of Compassion
Coal Miners to Lose Health Benefits Under Court Ruling
PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Thousands of coal miners, some sick from black lung disease, will lose their medical coverage under an order filed Monday by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge William Howard.And another state flips to blue....
The judge ruled that Horizon Natural Resources, the nation's fourth largest coal company, does not have to honor union contracts that guaranteed benefits for 1,000 active miners and some 2,300 retirees. Horizon filed for bankruptcy in November 2002.
"What a complete and utter travesty of justice," said UMWA President Cecil Roberts. "These workers did absolutely nothing wrong. They worked hard, did what was expected and accepted lower wages for the promise of health care, but look where that got them. They've been left high and dry. No health care and no job rights."
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