Bankrupt Patriot Coal Seeks Court Permission To End Retiree Health Plans
Also in the news, Ford will expand its experimental employee wellness program.
Bankrupt Patriot Coal Seeks To End Retiree Health Plans
Bankrupt Patriot Coal Corp asked a U.S. judge to allow it to end its obligation for retiree healthcare for its non-union employees, saying no potential buyer of its assets would agree to take on the cost. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May, its second in three years, due to plunging prices for its coal and tighter regulations. The company began an auction on Monday for the bulk of its assets, which includes mines in West Virginia and reserves in other states. Patriot has not said if the private auction had concluded. (Hals, 9/22)
Ford Extends Experimental Wellness Program
The big three automakers, faced for years with looming health care expenses for their workers and retirees, are trying to figure out new ways to lower costs. Ford, which spends $7 an hour on health care for its current hourly workers, is expanding an experimental wellness program that it launched two years ago for chronically ill employees. The 1,200-1,500 workers selected at first were chronically ill workers and retirees who are not eligible for Medicare. (Craver, 9/22)