When asked if he expects a similar outcome in Charleston, Smith replied, "There are people who will be risking arrest tomorrow."
Webster said he hoped it wouldn't come to that.
"We're hoping it won't turn out that way," he said. "We're hoping they can do whatever they have to do as far as their demonstration or march without any incident."
Union leaders contend Peabody Energy and Arch Coal spun off their assets in West Virginia and set Patriot up to fail in a scheme to shed benefit obligations to union retirees.
Peabody denied those claims, saying the company is the victim of "unforeseen events."
Patriot filed for bankruptcy last summer. The company said earlier this month in previous reports that it planned to modify its collective bargaining agreement and create a trust fund for retiree health care benefits, a move that's needed to save 4,000 existing jobs.
The union filed a lawsuit against the two companies in U.S. District Court in Charleston, arguing that Peabody and Arch still are responsible for the benefits under the federal Employee Retirement and Income Securities Act, according to the Associated Press.
The lawsuit claims 90 percent of the retirees Patriot is responsible for never worked for Patriot. They worked for Peabody and Arch.
Smith said it has been a while since the union has led a demonstration of this magnitude in West Virginia but that the union has been known to turn out in numbers when the situation called for it.
The rally at the Civic Center will begin at 10 a.m. The march is expected to begin at the Civic Center at 11:30 a.m. The rally at Laidley Tower is expected to begin at 12:15 p.m.
The event will be live streaming at www.fairnessatpatriot.org/media/video-feed beginning at 8:30 a.m. today.
Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at ashley.cr...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4850.