The U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved Alpha Natural Resources’ motion to (I) reject certain collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) and (ii) modify certain retiree benefit obligations.
As previously reported, “The Debtors previously have not sought any meaningful concessions from the Union Employees – let alone concessions on a level comparable to the reductions imposed on unrepresented current and former employees. The Debtors’ current financial condition, however, forces them to seek shared sacrifice from all stakeholder constituencies. The Debtors’ business plan – modified during these chapter 11 cases to account for the continuing decline in market conditions – contemplates that they must achieve an additional $200 million in annual cost savings across their businesses to maintain their operations and to accomplish a successful restructuring in the face of unprecedented market adversity. Of that $200 million, approximately $60 million must be realized through savings in labor costs related to Union Employees….The ongoing Labor and Legacy Obligations associated with the Core Assets also cannot be carried by the Debtors following a sale. Certain of the CBAs potentially impose liability on the Debtors if related mining assets are sold to a party who will not assume the Debtors’ obligations thereunder.”
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