Ex-Patriot Coal miners start reapplying for jobs

Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by Chris Dorst Coal miners at the Charleston Civic Center listen to foreman Cecil Sharp on Monday. The former Patriot Coal employees had to reapply for their jobs as part of the court-approved takeover of six mining complexes in West Virginia by Blackhawk Mining LLC.
Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by Chris Dorst Coal miners at the Charleston Civic Center listen to foreman Cecil Sharp on Monday. The former Patriot Coal employees had to reapply for their jobs as part of the court-approved takeover of six mining complexes in West Virginia by Blackhawk Mining LLC.
Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by Chris Dorst
Coal miners at the Charleston Civic Center listen to foreman Cecil Sharp on Monday. The former Patriot Coal employees had to reapply for their jobs as part of the court-approved takeover of six mining complexes in West Virginia by Blackhawk Mining LLC.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Blackhawk Mining initiated the rehiring process of former Patriot Coal employees on Monday in preparation for the Lexington-based company to take over six mining complexes in West Virginia later this week.

The takeover by Blackhawk, which already owns mining operations in Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia, is the result of Patriot Coal’s most recent bankruptcy, which the company filed in federal court in June. In the bankruptcy proceedings, Blackhawk won the bid to take over the majority of Patriot Coal’s assets, including numerous mines in West Virginia.

Jesse Parrish, the vice president of Blackhawk Mining, said Monday marked the first day that former Patriot employees could reapply for their jobs, and he said roughly 1,400 former Patriot employees are expected to be rehired.

The application process comes nearly a month after Patriot issued federally mandated WARN notices, which informed roughly 2,000 Patriot employees in West Virginia that their jobs might be subject to change as a result of the bankruptcy proceedings.

On Monday, former Patriot miners from former Patriot mines in West Virginia drove to the Charleston Civic Center to get the paperwork needed to reapply for their jobs.

But while the miners showed up hoping to hear that they were rehired, many were told that their hours and pay could be cut…

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