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Two coal companies issue 2,100 W.Va. layoff notices

BECKLEY, W.Va. — Two coal companies said Tuesday they expect to eliminate more than 2,100 mining jobs, including 92 in Raleigh County.

Alpha Natural Resources sent WARN notices stating it plans to idle its entire 79-person workforce at the Edwight Surface Mine and 13 workers at the Independence Coal Co.’s Tunnel Mine both located in Naoma by Nov. 30.

 Alpha cited “adverse market conditions” as the reason for idling both mines.

The company said there will be no bumping rights – when a miner with more seniority can “bump” a miner with less years of service out of a job — and terminations are expected to be permanent. The affected employees are not unionized.

A letter from Alpha’s Charleston law firm informed Raleigh County Commission President David Tolliver, Lester Mayor Kenneth Allen and Martha Craig-Hinchman of the West Virginia Dislocation Worker Union of the decision. The letter was dated Oct. 1, but not received until Tuesday morning.

Patriot Coal sent more than 2,000 layoff notices to miners working in Kanawha and Boone counties Tuesday…


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