Another coal layoff leaves more than 50 without jobs

Published: Aug. 12, 2019 at 12:01 PM EDT
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An early morning meeting left more than 50 JRL coal miners without jobs in Harlan County.

"I knew I was going to get it, but I wasn't ready for it. Not this soon," said laid-off miner Matt Clay.

Miners tell us they were handed letters informing them they no longer have a job with the company.

"That's just coal. It's good today and bad tomorrow. You can go in and have a job today and then tomorrow get laid off," said Clay.

In June, General Manager John Quintrell told WYMT the company had too much focused on surface mining.

The layoffs were announced on the three week anniversary of when Blackjewel miners began protesting in Cumberland.

"We're going through this situation that we're dealing with and then we get word today of the JRL layoff and I was speaking with him and it's hard," said Blackjewel miner Chris Rowe.

Clay and Rowe talked for a while at the protest site Monday afternoon.

"They know we've got food, we've got whatever. We're all brothers. They'll never get turned away," said Rowe.

The Blackjewel miners say they are still going to continue blocking the railroad track until they are paid what they have earned.

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