Peabody separated from the coal company in 2007. (USGS photo)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Twelve demonstrators have been arrested following a protest by mine workers and their supporters in a dispute with St. Louis-based Patriot Coal Corp.

The United Mine Workers of America staged another protest Monday in St. Louis. A spokesman for the union says 12 people were arrested for non-violent civil disobedience.

Patriot wants to make significant changes to health benefits for retired miners and reduce pay and benefits for current miners. The company says the moves are necessary for survival. Union leaders say Patriot was set up to fail when it spun off from St. Louis-based Peabody Energy Corp. in 2007, so that benefits could be eliminated. A spokesman for Peabody called that claim a “misguided attempt to rewrite history.”

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge has given Patriot the go-ahead for its changes.

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