"As far as we're concerned, this a company that sooner or later was going to fail. Here we are today, price of coal went down. Patriot didn't have the source of income it needed to sustain the cost that it had. So it filed for bankruptcy," Smith said.
For Brown, that means choosing between the lesser of two evils.
"Either get your medicine and not eat, or eat and not get your medicine," Brown said.
A bankruptcy judge ruled in favor of Patriot's plan but these miners aren't accepting that decision and said you'll stop hearing their chants when they get what they earned.
"We'll continue to fight until it's over," Brown said.
Smith said these workers are fighting for more than just their rights as lifetime workers; they're fighting for yours too.
"This creates a road map for any other company in the United States to do the same things their retirees that Peabody and Arch did to theirs. The company that made these promises is not the company that filed for bankruptcy. So there is nothing from keeping GM from spinning of Buick and putting all of their liabilities in to Buick and saying ‘Buick you make it on your own now'," Smith said.