HAZARD — Arch Coal, a mining company that employs around 6,400 employees in 10 different states, announced on Thursday the immediate layoff of roughly 100 of those employees from its two mines in Kentucky.
Kim Link, spokeswoman for Arch Coal, said the reduction will be in coal production and personnel “due to weak coal market conditions.”
“The Hazard Mining complex in Perry County, Ky., will idle one loader spread, resulting in the reduction of 35 direct positions,” Link said.
Link added that the 100 jobs include approximately 45 contractors that will be affected at the Cumberland River site.
“As a result, approximately 30 employee support positions at the Cumberland River mining complex (in Letcher and Wise Counties) will be affected,” Link said.
According to Arch’s website, for every one direct job in the mining industry, seven indirect jobs are created, more than doubling the potential total job loss numbers.
“We regret the need for this action, and appreciate the efforts of those employees whose positions are affected,” Link added. “There’s no question that coal from Kentucky has faced the most challenging market conditions. This decision was tough but necessary due to ongoing coal market weakness.”
This announcement comes after a year full of high layoff and job reduction numbers in the coal industry. In 2012, Arch let go over 750 employees from the Appalachian coal fields, around 500 of which came from Perry, Knott, and Breathitt county mines alone.