40 miners laid off in Harlan County

CUMBERLAND, Ky. (WYMT) - Another Harlan County coal mine has shut down and laid off some employees. Alpha Natural Resources officials say Stillhouse Mine in Cumberland is closed.

"It's always sad to see mines shut down and miners lose their jobs. That seems to be the trend right now," said David Kennedy, Harlan County Magistrate, District 3 that covers Cumberland.

Alpha Natural Resources Manager for External Communication Rick Nida tells WYMT a non-competitive market led them to close the Stillhouse Mine. He says 40 miners can transfer to other nearby Alpha mines in Harlan and Letcher Counties. Another 40 miners are laid off.

"It's always terrible to see anybody lose their job, but of course, we've got the holidays coming up, and it just seems twice as bad," said Kennedy.

The laid off coal miners that WYMT was able to get in touch with did not want to do an interview.

"My heart goes out to them because they are facing a future they don't know what will bring. If you're a laid off coal miner, you have a very difficult time finding a job opportunity somewhere else," said Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop.

"There's no jobs to replace these jobs and that makes it even worse," said Kennedy.

County leaders say the whole Cumberland area will feel the effects.

"When a coal company shuts down, it affects everybody because it's just a ripple down effect. All of the businesses in the area, all the organizations, everybody suffers when a coal company shuts down," said Kennedy.

Rick Nida with Alpha Natural Resources says the closing is permanent.


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