CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Coal mine operator Massey Energy has
turned to free gasoline as it fights to attract and retain workers.
Chief Executive Officer Don Blankenship says Massey is giving
employees $80 a month for gas. During a Friday conference call with
analysts, Blankenship said Massey is also setting work schedules a
year in advance and has doled out two raises in 2008 to ward off
labor shortages at mines in West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky.
Earlier, Massey began offering guaranteed three-year contracts
to individual miners.
The efforts seem to be working: Blankenship says the turnover
rate at underground mines is down 10 percent from a year ago.
Massey is the second major coal operator to offer gas money.
Abingdon, Va.-based Alpha Natural Resources started doling out gas
money last May.