UPDATE: Blackjewel miners idled again by new owners
Miners laid off earlier this year when Blackjewel coal company declared bankruptcy are out of job once again.
Reports from local lawmakers said nearly 100 workers were notified that Kopper Glo, the company that purchased a portion of Blackjewel’s holdings, would be idling their operations until Dec. 26. The company has reportedly told miners that they could be hired back after the holidays if buyers are found for their coal reserves.
Miners protested and demanded their missing pay, sitting on railroad tracks and blocking coal shipments for two months. In October, under a deal with Blackjewel in U.S. District Court, nearly $5.5 million in back pay was to be issued to the miners.
Coleen Tennington, whose husband, Darrell, worked as a repairman at Kopper Glo’s Darby mine, told the Associated Press he was laid off Friday morning when he arrived at work.
“We thought with Kopper Glo buying that, they would have had their ducks in a row and would have had a contract lined up to buy the coal,” Tennington said. “If they don’t (find a buyer), then what?”
Joey Hall, 43, who worked at Blackjewel and now at Kopper Glo, said he hadn’t heard of any layoffs Friday morning, but said it wouldn’t surprise him. Hall said he and others had been working 60 hours but were recently reduced to 40 hours.