- It is day 26 of the blockade on the tracks near the Cloverlick No. 3 mine
- More than 300 miners were out of jobs after Blackjewel declared bankruptcy
- It’s estimated the miners are each owed about $4,202.91
Hundreds of Kentucky miners are blocking a $1 million shipment of coal from leaving a Harlan County mine until they receive their final pay checks. More than 300 miners were unexpectedly sacked after their employer, two-year-old company, Blackjewel, declared bankruptcy and shut down its operations on July 1. The company did so without filing the mandatory 60-day advance warning and without posting a bond – which is a requirement by Kentucky law – to cover payroll. As a result the miners’ final paychecks bounced leaving many out of pocket. The New York Times reported lawyers representing the miners in bankruptcy proceedings estimated the employees were each owed about $4,202.91. About a month after the company went under, a final load of coal with an estimated worth in excess of $1 million was due to be shipped out. The miners found their bargaining chip. A small tent city has been set up by the railroad in Harlan County with hundreds of miners and their supporters refusing to budge till their demands are met. The blockade of the valuable shipment began on the afternoon of July 29, with a handful of miners and their families, camped on the tracks near the Cloverlick No. 3 mine. Twenty-six days later the once-small blockade has grown into a small tent city. The miners and their supporters at the railway camp are refusing to allow the shipment’s passage until they receive the wages they are due. One of the miners, Chris Rowe, a spokesman for the group of miners, said they were angry and frustrated they had done all the working digging the coal, but were not paid. ‘We’re doing without money, food and everything else before our kids are starting back to school,’ he told CNN affiliate WYMT. ‘We can’t even get clothes or nothing else for them, so it was like a kick in the face.’
Such bankruptcies and layoffs have become common place in an industry which is said to be in decline, but its the first protest of its size in recent years.
The miners’ plea has not gone unheard, the Department of Labor intervened, asking the bankruptcy judge to block shipment of the coal and deeming it ‘hot goods. And the mining company Blackjewel has promised proceeds from the coal’s sale would go towards the miners. The company said it would leave the coal where it was until an agreement on the final payment could be made. However, the protesters said they planned to keep up their blockade until they have their final pay check in hand. Nick Bit: I was wrong i found someone dumber then a farmer… COAL MINER. I seem to remember presidentie asshole was going to HA HA HA make coal great again…….. People actually believe that bullshit? Sometimes in life its better to take your ass kicking and move on. These Trump loyalist have been setting in the rail yard for over a month waiting for a $4000 check. Shit get a job, start a business, learn coding at night off the internet instead of watching Netflicks stupidness. But no they spend their day with a bunch of other losers drinking beer talking shit feeling sorry for themselves!. GUARANTEED they are collecting unemployment benefits, food stamps and welfare.