Alpha Natural Resources Inc. is asking a bankruptcy judge to let it slash retiree benefits and tear up existing labor agreements with its mine workers union, warning that its survival is at stake. Taking a page from fellow mining companies Patriot Coal and Walter Energy, Alpha said it is bleeding cash and that time is running out on efforts to broadly cut costs and offload liabilities, including those related to United Mine Workers of America-represented workers and retirees. “If such cost savings cannot be achieved globally, then the debtors may be forced to liquidate their assets, to the detriment of all stakeholders, including all union employees,” the company said in court papers filed Monday. “Alpha can file whatever they want and the judge can order whatever he wants but it will be up to […]