[TRIANGLE, VA] United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts made the following statement today:
"Today's announcement by Patriot is very disappointing, though not unexpected. The company had already announced its intention to close this complex in the near term, however the continued depression in the coal market led to this action being taken sooner.
"There will be jobs available for some of our members at the Hobet mine in Boone County, others are eligible for retirement and will choose that route.
"This makes it even more important that we continue our fight to secure the long-term retirement health care benefits our members have earned. This is a former Arch Coal mine, and Arch made the promise of retiree health care to these miners and their spouses. We will continue to work in Congress, argue in court, and march in the streets until our struggle for fairness and justice is won, and we have a long-term funding solution for their benefits."