EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSALPHA MINE CUTS
from Eyewitness News Online
Alpha Announces Mines Slated For Closure In Layoffs, Miners React
Reported by: Bob Aaron
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Also Contributing: Associated Press
Reported: Sep. 18, 2012 8:51 AM EDT
Updated: Sep. 19, 2012 8:12 AM EDT
Morgantown , West Virginia
Alpha Natural Resources has identified the eight mines it's closing in Central Appalachia.
Some 400 positions were being affected Tuesday. Another 800 layoffs are looming as Alpha shifts its business away from U.S. power plants and toward overseas steel mills. The company said the idling of eight mines will result in 160 layoffs – 80 in West Virginia. About 270 people were offered a reassignment either replacing outside contractors or filling existing vacancies.
By 2013, the company said it will be reducing about 16 million tons of coal production and eliminating a total of about 1,200 positions.
Spokesman Ted Pile says the affected West Virginia operations are the Alloy deep mine near Powellton, the Alloy surface mine near Boomer, the Premium highwall mine near Gilbert and the White Flame Surface Mine near Wharncliffe.
The Virginia mines are Guest Mountain deep mines No. 8 and No. 9 near Norton, and Twin Star Surface Mine near Hurley.
In Pennsylvania, Alpha will close its Dora deep mine in Jefferson County.
Alpha Natural Resources said it will try to temper layoffs by reassigning employees, but it expects total reductions immediately will number about 160 workers – 80 of those in West Virginia, a company spokeswoman said Tuesday.
By early 2013, the operations will idle another 1,040 workers to bring the total work force reduction to 1,200. The layoffs will affect eight mines, four in West Virginia, three in Virginia and one in Pennsylvania. The spokeswoman said she could not reveal the names of the mines yet because workers are still being notified.
The immediate cuts will reduce production by about two million tons. When the work force reductions are complete, the cut in production will be about 16 million tons. The layoffs will save the company about $150 million annually, the spokeswoman said.
Coal producer Alpha Natural Resources announced Tuesday that it is cutting production by 16 million tons and eliminating 1,200 jobs company wide, including 400 with the immediate closing of eight mines in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
The mine shutdowns start Tuesday, while the rest of the layoffs will be completed by the end of the first quarter after Alpha fulfills current sales obligations, Chief Executive Officer Kevin Crutchfield said.
In all, the layoffs amount to nearly a tenth of Alpha's 13,000-person work force.
Alpha said it is closing four mines in West Virginia, three in Virginia and one in Pennsylvania. They are a mix of deep and surface mines. All the mines being closed are non-union operations.
Alpha didn't immediately name the mines because they wanted to inform all the workers first.
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