More layoffs at mine in Perry County

By: Jerrika Insco Email
By: Jerrika Insco Email

Some of the Arch Coal layoffs are in Perry County where the judge-executive says 50 coal miners are now unemployed.

Several coal miners, even those working nearly 40 years in the industry, woke up this morning not knowing they no longer had jobs.

It is a permanent decision made by Arch Coal officials affecting people in Perry County and across the mountains.

As they walked into work, several coal miners had no idea what news they would walk back out with.

"I've got a lot of friends that worked on that job and worked for the whole company. I'll have to touch base with some of them now and see what's going on," said Max Slone, a coal miner who is on disability leave.

Max Slone has actually been on disability leave from an Arch Coal company for a few months and now fears he no longer has a job.

"It's pretty, pretty bad. You're not old enough to retire and you're too old to get another job. I'd say nobody is gonna wanna hire anybody 59 or 60 years old, so it's gonna be tough," said Slone.

Senator Brandon Smith says each job lost, 50 in Perry County at the Rowdy Gap Mine, have been noted and he expects to get them back and more.

"This is the second round of layoffs. We understand there is to be more to come. It's concerning to me, not only as someone who lives here and works here, but as a senator," said Senator Brandon Smith of the 30th district.

Senator Smith says as many as 2,200 people in eastern Kentucky could lose their jobs by the end of the summer.

"We're in a poor area. We can't afford to lose these jobs," said Perry County Judge-Executive Denny Ray Noble.

Many officials say Perry County's future is in the hands of Arch Coal.

The company is also laying off employees in Virginia and West Virginia.

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