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Patriot Coal seeks to break contract with union

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Patriot Coal is asking a U.S. bankruptcy judge to throw out the terms of the company's existing contract with the United Mine Workers union.

In a filing on Thursday, the St. Louis-based company also asked the judge to modify the health-care plan covering thousands of retired miners.

Patriot didn't publicly disclose the exact terms of its proposal and asked the judge to allow those details to be filed under seal.

The Charleston Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/XMnNUj) that the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July while it tries to reorganize its finances and operations, including what Patriot has called "unsustainable labor-related legacy liabilities."

In a statement, UMW President Cecil Roberts called the proposal "totally unacceptable" and "unnecessary."

Patriot has 12 mining complexes in Appalachia and the Illinois Basin.

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Information from: The Charleston Gazette, http://www.wvgazette.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.