ST. LOUIS -- The United Mine Workers union is leading another big rally as part of its ongoing battle with Patriot Coal, Peabody Energy and Arch Coal in St. Louis.
Union members and supporters say they'll plant 1,000 white crosses Tuesday at Kiener Plaza, across from Peabody headquarters. They say the crosses honor the memory of 666 people who died at coal mines operated by the three St. Louis firms and their subsidiaries since 1903.
Union leaders say Peabody Energy and Arch Coal spun off assets and set up Patriot to fail in a deliberate plan to end benefit obligations to union retirees.
Patriot denies that, saying its bankruptcy results from the global financial crisis, tighter environmental regulations and a reduction in metallurgical coal prices.