UMWA holding 14th Patriot protest in W.Va. Tuesday - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

UMWA holding 14th Patriot protest in W.Va. Tuesday

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FAIRMONT, W.Va. (AP) -- The United Mine Workers of America is bringing thousands of coal miners and their families to West Virginia for what will be the union's 14th protest over bankrupt Patriot Coal's plan to cut benefits.

President Cecil Roberts, United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard and AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt are scheduled to speak Tuesday at in Fairmont.

The UMWA booked 25 buses for the event. Other protesters are driving in.

People are coming from Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia to protest St. Louis-based Patriot's planned cutoff of retiree health benefits, and wage and benefit reductions for active miners.

Union spokesman Phil Smith says there have been 13 previous rallies: eight in St. Louis; three in Charleston; one in Evansville, Ind.; and one in Henderson, Ky.

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