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Former Arch Coal employees say their futures are uncertain

More than 100 coal workers were laid off by Arch Coal on Thursday.  Now two men say they are among those workers and they say their futures are uncertain.

MGN Online

(WYMT) - On Thursday, more than 100 coal workers with Arch Coal lost their jobs. Now, two men who say they are among those workers say their futures are uncertain.

Thursday was just another day for Craig Dixon, a member of the reclamation department for Arch Coal, and a member of the coal industry for more than 20 years.

"We had a safety dinner and came in that evening at 4 p.m. and they hollered at us to come in the parking lot. And that's your worst fear is when they say come in the parking lot, and it always means it's a layoff," said Dixon.

Dixon was right. He and many other coal workers, including Claude Mullins, a veteran of the coal industry for nearly 11 years, lost their jobs with Arch Coal.

"The only thing that I could think of while I was sitting there and they were telling me that I was getting ready to lose my job is here I am, I'm 50 years old. I've got to go back to school now because there's nothing here. I'm going to have to leave my family that I have in this area," Mullins said.

Mullins also says since he is single, the layoffs are not hurting him as much as others.

"With me I'm single, there's things I can do for myself to come through this situation. But for them, it goes so much further. They have wives, they have kids," said Mullins.

Dixon says over the last few years he was becoming more and more concerned that any day at work was his last.

"It affects you physically, mentally, stress, worries. You worry about if you're going to go out to work and if you have a job every day," Dixon said.

But Dixon says his worries now are about having to leave the area he loves so much and grew up in.

"The chances of me moving away just makes you heart broken and it's hard to keep a straight face when deep down you're hurting," said Dixon.

Dixon says he understands Arch Coal had no choice.

The company's spokeswoman says, "We regret the need for this action, and appreciate the efforts of those employees whose positions are affected. There's no question that coal from Kentucky has faced the most challenging market conditions. This decision was tough but necessary due to ongoing coal market weakness."


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