EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSEastern Ky. Mines To Idle Production Resulting In 525 Layoffs
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Dave Benton
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Sep. 17, 2013 10:12 AM EDT
Updated: Sep. 18, 2013 9:56 AM EDT
More than 500 mine employees in eastern Kentucky will be laid off after the company announced halting coal production.
James River Coal idled production at the McCoy Elkhorn Coal Mines and Prep Plants, Bledsoe Coal Mines and Prep Plants and the Long Branch Surface Mine. McCoy Elkhorn Coal Mines are located in Floyd and Pike counties. Bledsoe Coal Mines are in Harlan County and Long Branch Surface Mine is located in Laurel County.
The action resulted in 525 full-time mine employees being furloughed, according to a news release from the company.
Juanita Bevins lives in Floyd County and says this isn't the first time her son has been layed off in the mine. "It's just outrageous. The year before last, my son was one of the first 550 people to lose his job here. Now, he's facing another layoff. I don't know what he's going to do or where he's going to go."
Fred James, the director of Prestonsburg Tourism Commission says the ripple effect of the layoffs is a huge concern because $3.5 million dollars a month in payroll won't exist. "That's $3.5 that's no longer going to hit our economy. Now that $3.5 million is money they spend. What about the money derived from people who are not coal miners, truck drivers and rail road repair shops."
The company cited continued weak domestic and international coal markets for the layoffs. The company said restart dates of the coal operations are unknown at this time.
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