Miners, supporters gather in WV for Patriot protest - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Miners, supporters gather in WV for Patriot protest

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsMore>>

  • 13 County Coalitions Come Together To Prevent Substance Abuse

    13 County Coalitions Come Together To Prevent Substance Abuse

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:00 AM EDT2014-04-23 04:00:20 GMT
    It was all about celebrating recovery at the Clarksburg Baptist Church Tuesday evening .Coalition programs from thirteen different counties came together with some local officials to talk about the importance of preventing substance abuse.
    It was all about celebrating recovery at the Clarksburg Baptist Church Tuesday evening .Coalition programs from thirteen different counties came together with some local officials to talk about the importance of preventing substance abuse.
  • Volunteers Spruce Up Bridgeport Lakes With 'Community Clean Up Day'

    Volunteers Spruce Up Bridgeport Lakes With 'Community Clean Up Day'

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 11:35 PM EDT2014-04-23 03:35:46 GMT
    Tuesday turned out to be a beautiful evening for dozens of Bridgeport residents, who came out in support of Earth Day to spruce up Hinkle and Deegan Lakes.
    Tuesday turned out to be a beautiful evening for dozens of Bridgeport residents, who came out in support of Earth Day to spruce up Hinkle and Deegan Lakes.
  • Senator Rockefeller and Ted Koppel Host a Fireside Chat at WV Wesleyan

    Senator Rockefeller and Ted Koppel Host a Fireside Chat at WV Wesleyan

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 6:40 PM EDT2014-04-22 22:40:43 GMT
    It was a celebratory day at West Virginia Wesleyan College as Senator Jay Rockefeller returned to campus for the first time in nearly eight years in an event with journalist Ted Koppel. 
    It was a celebratory day at West Virginia Wesleyan College as Senator Jay Rockefeller returned to campus for the first time in nearly eight years in an event with journalist Ted Koppel. 

Wayne Thompson, a member of UMWA Local 1793 in western Kentucky, was on a bus at 1 a.m. Monday for the trip to save his retirement and health benefits.

Thompson was one of several hundred miners gathered outside the Charleston Civic Center before 9 a.m. in anticipation for a rally inside and outside to draw attention to plans by Patriot Coal Co. to shed its retirement and health care obligations to its employees via bankruptcy court.

"We're here to protect what Peabody Coal is trying to do to us," said Thompson, referring to one of the two coal companies that contributed mines with high legacy costs when they formed Patriot Coal.

"This is not the first time companies have tried to do this. It's got to stop somewhere, and we intend to stop it, and this is just the beginning," Thompson said.

Thompson said he spent 27 years working underground in a Peabody mine that went to Patriot after he retired. He said he "never worked a day in my life for Patriot."

Thompson said he has two herniated disks and three stents, and he has had triple bypass surgery. And, he has been in remission from cancer for seven years.

"We knew we were giving up our health the day we entered the coal mine. Health care is very important to us. They promised. They lied," he said.

The UMWA planned to bus about 5,000 people from seven states for the rally. The rally will begin at the Civic Center, and at 11:30 a.m. miners and supporters will gather at Laidley Tower, the home of Patriot's West Virginia office.