Murray Energy Warns of 82% layoff in September

Murray Energy Corp. is the largest privately-held coal company in the USA. Just yesterday, it announced of a potential layoff 82 percent...

of its workforce in September. According to Fox News, Labor laws stipulates a 60-day waiting period before any significant layoffs can take place.

The company spokesperson, Gary Broadbent, said that the corporation might have to let go of about 4,400 more job positions in September. If this happens, it will reduce their workforce from 8,400 in May of 2015 to about 1,000 workers. The energy company already sent a letter to employees indicating the possible decision in September due to the weak coal market.

The owner of Murray Energy, Bob Murray, said the layoffs could potentially affect employees in six states. Murray added that the total number of staff with Murray Energy would drop from 5,356, according to The Hill.

Meanwhile, the company just took a hit several days before when UMW members operating at five West Virginia mines voted and rejected a tentative new contract. At that event, Murray spokesman Gary Broadbent said in a statement that BCOA would further examine available options and project a way forward on the matter.

According to The Intelligencer, these workforce reductions in coal companies are due to the ongoing depletion of the United States coal sector and the increased utilization of natural gas to generate electricity. Murray Energy should come to the realization that with Appalachian coal selling for $40 a ton, half of the price five years ago, things will probably not improve. Mr Murray has also warned that he might consider bankruptcy protection if he didn’t get concessions from the UMW.

According to stats report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Peabody Energy led the nation in 2014 with 189.5 million tons, and Arch Coal came in second with 135.8 million tons. Murray Energy was USA's fifth-largest coal producer in 2015, with 62.8 million tons. Earlier this year, three of US top five coal companies, Peabody, Alpha and Arch Energy, filed for bankruptcy reported Digital Journal.

Is this the path for Murray Energy? Only time will tell.
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