UPDATE 8/12/14 @ 6:58 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Another Kanawha Valley community is bracing for a massive hit because of the loss of 280 coal mining jobs. Coal River Mining, LLC and Coal River Processing, LLC announced plans to idle several operations in October.
With that many people out of a job, a lot of people will be affected.
Charles Tunny worked for Coal River Mining for several years before being laid off in November. He has since been having to draw unemployment in order to get by.
"I'm close to retirement. The young coal miners are the ones I feel sorry for," Tunny said. "They have children, truck payments, house payments. I'm sure they're not going to make all those payments on what they're going to draw from unemployment."
Tunny's family is also being affected by the latest round of layoffs. His wife's son-in-law received notice that he'll be out of a job in October.
Tunny says it's not just the miners and their families who are being affected. The community at large also will take a big hit.
"It's going to trickle right on down, you know? Your convenience stores, where your coal miners stop every day to fuel up and buy snacks for lunch and all this. Sure, it's going to affect everything in the community."
Company officials say the layoffs are expected to be permanent. The affected employees are not represented by a union.
Coal River Mining, LLC and Coal River Processing, LLC announced their plans to idle several operations. The companies say this is due to "current adverse market conditions."
The Coal River Mining, LLC operations that will close beginning October 11th include:
- The entire Fork Creek Mine 3 in Alum Creek
- The entire Fork Creek Mine 10 in Alum Creek
- The entire Surface Mine 67 in Alum Creek
- The entire Surface Mine 9 in Julian
- The entire Administrative Office for surveyors and other support personnel in Alum Creek
The workforce reductions will also affect Fork Creek Mine 1 in Alum Creek, where operations have already been idled by Coal River Mining, LLC.
The Coal River Processing, LLC operations that will close beginning Oct. 7th include:
- The entire Plant, entire Warehouse and entire Administrative Office for support personnel
All terminations are expected to be permanent.
"Coal Rivers, LLC, made the unsettling announcement that it plans to idle or eliminate up to 280 jobs," Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper said. "This is yet another difficult blow to the hard working men and women of West Virginia. Tragically, these layoff impact more than miners, they will adversely affect family members, communities and businesses throughout our region. The continued loss of coal mining jobs, in Kanawha and the surrounding counties, is unacceptable and must come to an end.