Mining company bankruptcy puts miners briefly out of work

While the Kentucky Attorney General is investigating the financially ailing Blackjewel Mining company, some 60 Blackjewel workers let go because of a mine shutdown in Wyoming have been hired by competitor Cloud Peak Energy, Inc.

Cloud Peak indicated the nearly 60 former Blackjewel employees will start at its Cordero Rojo and Antelope mines on Tuesday, July 16.

After the unexpected Blackjewel layoffs last week, Cloud Peak Energy began working closely with Wyoming Workforce Services to recruit Blackjewel employees who were suddenly out of a job.

Amy Clemetson, SVP HR for Cloud Peak Energy said, “When we heard of the sudden layoffs at Blackjewel, we immediately contacted Wyoming Workforce Services to help us match experienced miners with the job openings we have. Given the impact of these layoffs on the Gillette community, we wanted to move as quickly as we could to get people back to work. I would like to thank my HR team and all the others involved at Cloud Peak Energy for working so hard to make this possible. I would also like to welcome our new employees and their families to Cloud Peak Energy.”

Cloud Peak operates three mines in Wyoming and Montana.


Kentucky’s Attorney General said on Friday he is investigating complaints from miners who say they are not receiving pay following the fast-moving bankruptcy negotiations for Blackjewel mining, which employs some 1100 people in Central Appalachia.

Attorney General Andy Beshear said in a statement he has received “numerous troubling complaints” related to the company, “ranging from clawed back paychecks to child support issues.

“I have therefore instructed my office to use all of its powers and resources to seek answers for those who have been harmed,” Beshear said.

Those complaints follow a federal bankruptcy court hearing in West Virginia in which a last minute loan was approved to help the company meet payroll. On Wednesday the court granted a request by West-Virginia based coal company Blackjewel LLC to borrow $5 million to stay afloat, on the condition the company’s president and CEO, Jeff Hoops, resigns.


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