It cited increased natural gas use for its decision, along with “the ongoing destruction of the United States coal industry by President Barack Obama.” Excessive coal severance taxes in West Virginia also played a role in the respective mine cuts in that state, the company noted.
West Virginia (1,418)
The biggest loss of the entire group of MEC job cuts will be at the Monongalia County Coal Company Monongalia County mine, which will be idled indefinitely. Notices have been sent to the mine’s 589 employees of the plan, which goes into effect July 21.
Also in West Virginia, the company has eliminated 261 hourly and 98 salaried positions at the Marshall County Coal Company Marshall County mine; 794 jobs will remain.
At the Marion County Coal Company Marion County mine, 171 hourly and 45 salaried positions were eliminated. There will still be 476 employed at the complex.
At the Ohio County mine, operated by the Ohio County Coal Company, 123 hourly and 23 salaried positions were cut, with 537 positions remaining.
Finally, the Harrison County Coal Company, operator of the Harrison County mine, will slice 92 hourly and 16 salaried positions. There are still 553 that will remain working at the complex, MEC said.
The American Energy Corporation Century operation in Belmont County, which employs 650, has reduced its staff by 98 hourly and 10 salaried positions. Post-furlough, 542 will remain on payroll.
At sister mine Ohio Valley, known to many as the No. 6 mine, operator the Ohio Valley Coal Company has immediately cut 131 hourly and 10 salaried positions. Direct employment at the mine near Alledonia, Belmont County was 740, and 599 will remain employed post-cut. The No. 6 cuts are in addition to those announced earlier this year.
The American Coal Company, which did directly employ a total of 833, has furloughed 142 hourly and 20 salaried workers. Those cuts, too, are effective immediately.
American Coal will continue to employ 671.
MEC officials did not make any additional comment about the layoffs.
However, it did note in the announcement that it had increased West Virginia coal mining employment by 400 jobs since its December 2013 takeover of the mines in the state that had been owned by CONSOL Energy. At its peak, the company confirmed it had employed 4,000 workers in the state.