Miners March in Southwestern PA to Safeguard Pensions and Benefits

Coal, miners, rally, hands, dirty

Thousands of miners have rallied and marched in southwestern Pennsylvania to safeguard pensions and health benefits.

The United Mine Workers of America says it’s concerned because environmental regulations on coal-burning plants have combined with abundant supplies of natural gas to drive down demand for coal at power plants.

Earlier this week, Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources asked a bankruptcy judge to let it break a union contract so the company can reorganize its finances.

The union says Friday’s rally and march from the Greene County Airport to the Greene County Fairgrounds was a “demonstration of solidarity” as the coal industry has dealt with down-sizing and bankruptcies.

The union says although judges can void contracts in bankruptcy court, the union must still agree to work under any amended contracts.