EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSCOAL LAYOFFS
from Eyewitness News Online
Alpha Natural Resources Announces Major Job Cuts In Eastern Kentucky
Reported by: Kennie Bass
Videographer: Bob Aaron
Web Producer: Kennie Bass
Also Contributing: Bob Aaron
Reported: Jun. 8, 2012 9:47 AM EDT
Updated: Jun. 8, 2012 6:16 PM EDT
Pikeville , Pike County , Kentucky
Citing tough market conditions and new regulations on coal-fired power plants, Alpha Natural Resources is curtailing coal mining operations in northern and southern Kentucky.
Alpha is shutting down four mines and idling two coal preparation plants in Pike and Martin counties. Production will be scaled back at several other mines, and four contract mines will close.
The production cuts will reduce Alpha’s shipments of thermal coal by an additional two million tons this year and four million tons in 2013.
Of the 436 employees affected by these moves, Alpha says 286 will be offered positions at other operations in Kentucky, southern West Virginia and Virginia.
That means a total of 150 jobs will be lost. Laid off workers will remain on the payroll and will receive their normal wages and benefits for two months.
“This year, utilities in the U.S. are expected to burn the least amount of steam coal than at any time in the last 20 years, and the pressure’s been very intense on coal sourced from eastern Kentucky, particularly operations rendered uncompetitive due to fuel switching, relatively high rail rates and competition from Illinois Basin coal,” said Kevin Crutchfield, Alpha’s chairman and CEO. “Layoffs are an unfortunate last resort, and it’s tough for miners that want to work but are unable to because of factors beyond their control and the company’s control.”
Stay tuned to Eyewitness News for more coverage on this Breaking News story.
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