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156 coal miners laid off in Perry County

By: Jordan Vilines Email
By: Jordan Vilines Email

The bad news continues for the Eastern Kentucky coal industry.

Just weeks before Christmas, more than 150 Perry County coal miners found out they would no longer have a job.

Coal officials say the warm winter and federal regulations are just a few factors that are weakening the current demand for coal.

156 employees at Perry County Coal Corporation are now stuck searching for new jobs.

“We aren't producing at full capacity or full production; we have reduced the staffing down to produce the amount of coal that we have sold,” says Paul Matney, Director of Personnel for Teco Coal Company.

“It’s not really a surprise because we've had a mild winter so far, we had a mild winter last year and a mild summer, the power plants isn't using a lot of coal,” says Denny Ray Noble, Perry County Judge Executive.

Noble says the impact of these layoffs will be far-reaching and affect more than just the employees who were let go.

“Every time you lose a coal miners job you lose 3.4 estimated jobs all over Eastern Kentucky and this area,” Noble said.

With the holidays right around the corner, officials at the coal company hope these layoffs are temporary.

Many miners are now left praying that the current "bust" in the coal industry will quickly "boom" again.

Coal officials say they also hope the demand for coal will eventually catch back up.

But for now, they are concerned with how quickly that will happen.

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