Murray Energy Issues WARN Notices; Up to 1,500 Coal Miners Could Be Out of Work on June 17
By Mike Jones
June 8, 2020 - More than 1,500 people working in the coal industry in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia will be without jobs next week after multiple subsidiary companies for Murray Energy announced mass layoffs recently, according to federal notices filed by the mining company.
According to a federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification filed in late May, 1,522 workers at four Murray Energy locations in Ohio and Marshall counties will terminated as of June 17.
They include 854 workers at Marshall County Coal Co. in Cameron and 447 employees at Ohio County Coal Co. in Dallas, along with 139 workers at Anchor Longwall & Rebuild Inc. and another 82 employees at Kanawha Transportation Center Inc., both of which are located at Industrial Park Drive in Wheeling.
Two other Murray subsidiaries in Marion County – Harrison County Coal Co. and Marion County Coal Co. – also notified a combined 931 workers would be laid off next week at those facilities, according to the WARN notice issued May 28.
A phone call to Murray Energy’s headquarters in St. Clairsville was not immediately returned Monday.
Murray Energy cited billions in debt and a declining demand for its primary product of steam coal when the company filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in late October after failing to make payments to creditors. The company announced in court filings it planned to change the bankruptcy filing to Chapter 7, which drew an outcry from the United Mine Workers union that said it would lead to the closure of mines and layoff of thousands of workers. The case remains in federal court on the Western District of Ohio.
A message left for UMWA officials was not immediately returned Monday.
Murray is largest underground coal producer in the United States with 15 active mines, some of which have been idled. The company also operates 10 coal transloading facilities and five mining and equipment factory and fabrication facilities.