Miners, supporters gather in WV for Patriot protest - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Miners, supporters gather in WV for Patriot protest

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Sistersville Woman Crowned Mrs. West Virginia, Will Compete for National Title

    Sistersville Woman Crowned Mrs. West Virginia, Will Compete for National Title

    Tuesday, July 15 2014 4:17 AM EDT2014-07-15 08:17:38 GMT
    A Sistersville mother, wife, and soon-to-be teacher, holds another very impressive title as she gets ready to take on the competition on a national stage.Mrs. West Virginia, Melissa Smith, will compete for the title of "Mrs.United States," in September. Smith travels throughout the state right now helping to push her platform. "Right now, I'm very focused on improving literacy education. I'm going to be an elementary school teacher and I have been traveling throughout West Virginia reading to...
    A Sistersville mother, wife, and soon-to-be teacher, holds another very impressive title as she gets ready to take on the competition on a national stage.Mrs. West Virginia, Melissa Smith, will compete for the title of "Mrs.United States," in September. Smith travels throughout the state right now helping to push her platform. "Right now, I'm very focused on improving literacy education. I'm going to be an elementary school teacher and I have been traveling throughout West Virginia reading to...
  • Federal judge in Martinsburg, West Virginia, sends 10 to prison for violating probation

    Federal judge in Martinsburg, West Virginia, sends 10 to prison for violating probation

    Sunday, July 6 2014 11:00 AM EDT2014-07-06 15:00:12 GMT
    Nine Martinsburg, West Virginia, residents and another from Keyser were sentenced to federal prison for breaking the law while they were on supervised release or probation.
    Nine Martinsburg, West Virginia, residents and another from Keyser were sentenced to federal prison for breaking the law while they were on supervised release or probation.

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.