Layoff notice sent to 350 Murray Energy workers

ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio — Murray Energy Holdings issued layoff notices to nearly 350 workers at six of its subsidiaries in Eastern Ohio as part of its bankruptcy restructuring.

The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification filing originally was sent April 1 and updated Monday announcing the possible termination of 347 workers June 17.

The possible layoffs in Belmont County include 64 workers at The Ohio Valley Coal Co.; 23 workers at Murray American Energy Inc.; nine employees at American Natural Gas Inc.; and four workers at The Ohio Valley Transloading Co. In Monroe County, the notices were sent to 210 employees at American Energy Corp. and 37 workers at American Mine Services Inc.

Murray Energy also announced late last month that about 2,500 of its workers in West Virginia could be laid off next week. An official with the United Mine Workers of America said this week the union does not expect any of its 1,800 union miners in West Virginia to be terminated and that the WARN notice was most likely due to Murray undergoing bankruptcy proceedings that began in October.

However, the miners at American Energy mine at Beallsville are not unionized, raising questions about whether they or workers at the other Ohio facilities could face termination. Only the four workers at The Ohio Valley Transloading Co. are listed as being represented by the UMWA.

Jason Witt, a spokesman for Murray Energy, said he could not comment.

Citing billions in debt and a declining demand for its primary product of steam coal, Murray Energy filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in late October after failing to make payments to creditors.

The company announced in court filings it planned to change the bankruptcy filing to Chapter 7, which remains in federal court in the Western District of Ohio.


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