* Patriot said it would stay in a UMWA pension plan if the union agreed to limit increases in the required contribution rates. If the union does not agree, the company would withdraw and cover union miners with a 401(k) plan instead.
* Under Patriot's reorganization plan, it would shed $1.6 billion in retiree health liabilities, create a trust to cover approximately 8,100 retirees and dependents, contribute as much as $300 million in future profit-sharing payments, and make royalty payments the company said could be worth "tens of millions."
* The company also has offered to give the UMWA a 35 percent stake in the corporation, which it could sell to help fund the trust. The union has sought a 57 percent stake.
Was Patriot set up to fail, as the UMW and its political allies contend - or not, as Peabody, Patriot and Arch Coal insist?
The judge didn't settle the question, but said it was irrelevant to whether the company could survive.
She added gently that while unions bargain for the best deal for their members, "there is likely some responsibility to be absorbed for demanding benefits that the employer cannot realistically fund in perpetuity."
The union said it would appeal. But it might help its members more quickly if it negotiated with Patriot to salvage as much as it can instead.
"Absorption" comes from the hides of UMW members.