Murray Energy warns of massive coal mine layoffs in September

Ohio-based Murray Energy, one of the nation’s top coal producers, said June 29 that it has issued 60-day Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) notices to approximately 4,400 individuals in six states in anticipation of mass workforce reductions in September.

Murray Energy said it hopes and expects to continue operating its mines, and will retain as many employees as practicable to ensure continued operation and to fulfill its obligations to its customers. It didn’t specify what layoffs might happen at any particular mines. It has mines in states including Utah, Kentucky, Illinois, Ohio and West Virginia. It has several longwall-equipped mines in northern West Virginia working the high-sulfur Pittsburgh coal seam that it bought earlier this decade from CONSOL Energy.

“These workforce reductions are due to the ongoing destruction of the United States coal industry by President Barack Obama, and his supporters, and the increased utilization of natural gas to generate electricity,” said the company. “Murray Energy will continue to sell and ship coal, as we have to date, after any such workforce reduction. Service to Murray Energy’s customers will not be interrupted.”

Murray Energy has gone to court over a number of Obama Administration environmental initiatives, including as a lead coal industry plaintiff against the CO2-reducing Clean Power Plan.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.