What we've seen coming since at least 2012 has finally happened as Murray Energy, the largest private coal company in the country, has declared bankruptcy.
The company famous for forcing miners to lose a day's pay so they could appear in a campaign ad for former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney...
...is apparently going to screw those same miners out of their pensions and benefits.
Murray Energy Holdings Co. filed for Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Columbus, Ohio, to restructure more than $2.7 billion of debt. The miner -- the largest privately owned U.S. coal company -- reached a restructuring support agreement with lenders who hold more than 60% of a $1.7 billion loan, the company said in a statement. The deal provides a new $350 million loan to keep operations going during the reorganization. [...]
The lender agreement calls for the reorganized company to reject any existing collective bargaining agreement between the company and employees, the disclosures show. Murray, which has more than 5,000 employees -- 2,400 of whom are active union members -- said it faces more than $8 billion in liabilities for various pensions and benefit plans.
“We have high-powered legal, financial and communications teams in place that will fight to protect our members’ interests in the bankruptcy court,” United Mine Workers of America International President Cecil E. Roberts said in an emailed statement.
The Trump regime gave CEO Bob Murray almost everything he wanted short of mandating that regional utility authorities purchase dirty, expensive coal. But some states, including Murray's home state of Ohio, passed their own laws to bail out dying coal-fired power plants.
In the end, state interventions won't matter either because the era of Big Coal is behind us.
Using coal made some amount of sense when it was cheapest form of energy, but that is no longer exclusively the case and it's worse for the environmental than every other option.
Murray's employees do not deserve the lose the benefits they've worked for even if Murray himself deserves the worst possible outcome.