Miner Shortage Hits Coal Companies

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Mine operator Alpha Natural Resources
says it's giving gas money, free health insurance and other
incentives to attract and keep coal miners.

Chief Executive Mike Quillen says his Abingdon, Virginia-based
company wants to avoid labor shortages it experienced during the
last coal price spike in 2005 and 2006. Alpha, Richmond,
Virginia-based Massey Energy and other nonunion companies had a
tough time then keeping rivals from poaching experienced miners.

At $95 a ton for steam coal and more than double that for
metallurgical coal, mines are trying to up production again -- and
trying to retain and attract miners.

Alpha's also giving 25 shares of stock to each of its 3,600
employees in Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Kentucky.
But Quillen says putting the equivalent of an extra $3 an hour in
their pockets through steps such as $30 a month for gas and cash
bonuses for not jumping ship should help the most.

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  • by JANICE Location: neon on May 2, 2008 at 07:24 AM
    I agree with Frank free pills and an ATV, it seems like that we working people are already supporting to many of the ARTIST(check drawers)as it is and all of the have ATV's and pills.
  • by Willy on May 2, 2008 at 04:55 AM
    Why not bring in Mexicans.They will work.Or may be stop the feds from sending free dope to our people. ATVs save gas.We have too many laws, we have stopped our own people from holding jobs.Don gets the job done.
  • by James Meade Location: Prestonsburg, Ky on May 1, 2008 at 08:41 PM
    When you have good paying jobs with retirement and benefits everyone prospers. I think we should take the mexicans (edited) to mexico they could co exist there low wages and they will work all day for a bowl of beans and rice. Think of the profits the scabs could rake in then. It time the people wake up and stand for something beside 10 or 13 dollars a hr and a chest of black lung when they quite because theres no retirement. LETS BRING BACK THE GOOD OLE UMWA .Lets take our communites back and put our young people to work so they dont have to leave east ky to find a good paying job with retirement with benefits. Lets organise......guess im daydreaming again about yester year
  • by James Meade Location: Prestonsburg ky on May 1, 2008 at 08:35 PM
    Wonder why we have a shortage of coalminers. (1)What do they have to work for. No benefits (at most non union mines) (2) What kind of retirement do the miners have once they retire? (none at the non union mines) (3) What type of benefits will they have once they retire ( medicare or medicaid non union mines give them nothing to work for or with (4) Unsafe working conditions I dont blame then a bit i wouldnt work for the scabs for that and nothing to have once i retired. A community is only as strong as it weakest link. I remember when communities once flurished with people and communities were suitable for people to live in without fear of some drug dealer breaking in. Then we got the scabs or yellow bellies non union mines that came to town. Lets work those boys for minimum wages. Now they got what they asked for poor communities now full of dopies and drugies because they can make more money selling drugs than they can working. Go figure whats wrong with todays communitees.
  • by frank Location: norton on May 1, 2008 at 01:25 PM
    I have the answer for this work shortage, offer them free pills and an ATV.
  • by Jeannie on May 1, 2008 at 01:02 PM
    Better watch out! Don Blankenship will use this as a reason to try to bring in Mexican workers or other foreigners who cannot speak English.


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