WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following reports that Arch Coal paid out nearly $9 million in bonuses to eight of its executives three days before filing for bankruptcy, Brown blasted the company for its disregard for retirees whose pensions could be impacted by the bankruptcy.
“It’s disgusting that at the same time miners’ pensions were slipping away Arch Coal was doling out millions to its most wealthy executives,” said Brown. “Miners do backbreaking work in harsh, and too often unsafe, conditions to build pensions that will take care of them and their families in retirement – but instead of gratitude, all we see from Arch Coal is greed. The strain on pensions like the United Mine Workers of America 1974 plan worsens when companies file for bankruptcy to shirk their financial obligations to miners, and this news is absolutely unacceptable.”
Brown is the cosponsor of the Miners Protection Act to address the shortfall in the UMWA 1974 pension plan. The UMWA’s 1974 pension plan was 94 percent funded prior to 2008. Due to many factors including the financial crisis and fewer active workers, the plan is now severely underfunded – putting the health care and benefits of retirees in jeopardy. If the plan becomes insolvent, retirees could see reductions in their monthly pension checks.