Perry County Coal Corp. is a name that you probably do not know much about, unless you spend a lot of time looking at the coal industry. That is why today, before we talk about the job cuts to come, we are going to take a look at how the company has chosen to describe itself, “Headquartered near Hazard, Ky., in Perry County, Perry County Coal Corp. has underground and surface mine operations. Principal products include high quality steam coal for utilities and industrial stoker. Facilities at Perry County Coal include a 1,350-ton-per-hour preparation plant and two unit train load-outs capable of loading up to 5,000 tons per hour. Products from this operation are shipped domestically via rail and truck.”
Sadly the company is getting ready to cut back by about 156, which is more than enough to qualify as a mass layoff action under the current federal guidelines. For those of you who are not familiar with the idea of a mass layoff action here is a look at how the company chooses to describe itself, “The Mass Layoff Statistics (MLS) program collects reports on mass layoff actions that result in workers being separated from their jobs. Monthly mass layoff numbers are from establishments which have at least 50 initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) filed against them during a 5-week period. Extended mass layoff numbers (issued quarterly) are from a subset of such establishments—where private sector nonfarm employers indicate that 50 or more workers were separated from their jobs for at least 31 days.”
Job cuts of this size represent a loss of just under 30 percent of the workers at its Hazard, Kentucky location. For the time being the company has not chosen to outline any further information about the job cuts, such as the type of severance that they are going to be offering to the soon to be displaced workers. For the time being the company is not even talking about what kind of positions are going to bear the brunt of the cuts, or when exactly the layoffs are set to go into effect.
This is, as you can imagine, not the first time that a company in the power sector has tried to turn to layoffs in order to set its balance sheet to right, “The company is taking job cuts of 54 workers, enough to qualify as a mass layoff action under the current federal guidelines…The interesting, and somewhat specious reason to put 54 workers out of their jobs, and onto the unemployment line, is that President Obama was reelected into office. The layoff notices, which were issued just hours after the results of the 2012 election were announced to the general public, was enough to spur Bob Murray, the current CEO of Murray Energy, to leave people jobless in a tough economy. Mr. Murray has long been a vocal critic of the president’s policies of not subsidizing coal energy with federal monies.”
The Perry County Coal Corporation is owned by TECO Coal.
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