A federal bankruptcy judge in St. Louis has left Patriot Coal's retirees - whom it inherited from Peabody Energy and Arch Coal - high and dry, and said Patriot could dump its union contracts, too.
Labor activist Eugene V. Debs was imprisoned May 22, 1895, for his role in the Pullman strike.
"We are going to stand up, fight back and go to jail for our members - and that is something Peabody can't buy."
The actions, organized by UMWA, were in support of the union's campaign to save health care for retired miners and win better wages, benefits and working conditions for miners on the job.
Since Congress must start all over again to fix the money troubles at the U.S. Postal Service, it should do so the right way.
The nation's largest coal companies created the spin-off company, Patriot Coal, in a scheme to rob thousands of union members and beneficiaries of their pensions and health care benefits.
The rights of public service workers seem to be of no consequence to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn.
Under this plan, financed by Pitney Bowes, the entire Postal Service would become a series of private companies.
The hunger strikers called on postal management to suspend cuts and closures and allow Congress to fix the finances by repealing the prefunding mandate and refunding the pension surplus.
On December 20, 2005, thousands of workers began what was to be a three-day strike of the New York City transit system over retirement, pension and wage issues.