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Mine workers union members protest at Consol Energy

| Wednesday, May 17, 2017, 8:06 p.m.
United Mine Workers of America president Cecil Roberts points toward Consol headquarters as he addresses the fifteen hundred miners who assembled for a rally at Southpointe on Wednesday, May 17, 2017. The union said Wednesday morning's rally was to protest what it called attempts by the company to reduce health benefits for retirees and to protect pensions of retired coal miners. (Mark Marietta /Observer-Reporter via AP)
Demonstrators participate in a United Mine Workers protest Wednesday, May 17, 2017, at Consol Energy Inc. headquarters in Canonsburg, Pa. The union said Wednesday morning's rally was to protest what it called attempts by the company to reduce health benefits for retirees and to protect pensions of retired coal miners. (Mark Marietta/Observer-Reporter via AP)
United Mine Workers president Cecil Roberts, left, and retired mine worker and former Armstring County commissioner Richard Fink sit in peaceful protest in front of Cecil Township police on Consol headquarters property following the rally at Southpointe on Wednesday, May 17, 2017. The union said Wednesday morning's rally was to protest what it called attempts by the company to reduce health benefits for retirees and to protect pensions of retired coal miners. (Mark Marietta /Observer-Reporter via AP)

CANONSBURG, Pa. (AP) -- Hundreds gathered at the western Pennsylvania headquarters of Consol Energy for a United Mine Workers protest.

The union said Wednesday morning's rally was to protest what it called attempts by the company to reduce health benefits for retirees and to protect pensions of retired coal miners.

President Cecil Roberts in a statement said Consol was leaving the coal business but “trying to leave behind all its obligations” to workers who made the company successful for decades.

The company said in a statement that it was “one of only a few companies” that has met its obligations “without resorting to the bankruptcy courts.”

Consol Energy accused the union of trying to distract from its “poor decisions” in supporting Obama administration policies that contributed to the downturn in the coal industry.

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