IL coal company notifies employees of possible layoffs - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

IL coal company notifies employees of possible layoffs

GALATIA, IL (KFVS) - A coal company in Galatia, Illinois announced on June 1 that it has issued notices on possible layoffs as a precautionary measure.

The American Coal Company said the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notices were sent to its employees in anticipation of the layoffs in August 2015.

“It's going to be hard to find a lot of employment around here because we don't have a lot going on,” Galatia Mayor, David Harrawood said.

Residents of the area say the possibility is one that could heavily impact Galatia and Saline County.

“That takes not only a family away from the county and the community, but it also takes the revenue away, so it's just a tough all around situation,” Saline County resident, Bill Karns said.

“There are several who work out there,” Mayor Harrawood said. “And the ones who travel through to get gas or the convenient store, that's revenue for our town. We cut down that amount of traffic, that's going to cut down our revenue.”

The American Coal Company directly employs about 930 people in the state of Illinois.

“Saline County is home and it's where we have two industries here, that's coal mine and agriculture. And agriculture can no way make up for the job loss that the coal industry will hurt us,” Harrawood said.

American Coal said it hopes to continue operations at its mines and preparation plant, as they now exist, and to keep as many employees as possible to maintain current operations and fulfill its obligations to its customers.

According to American Coal, the possible layoffs are due to "the ongoing destruction of the United States coal industry by President Barack Obama and his supporters and regulatory agencies; actions by the Sierra Club; and the increased utilization of natural gas to generate electricity."

It says it will continue to sell and ship coal after any possible layoffs. Service to its customers will not be interrupted.

The American Coal Company directly employs about 930 people in the state of Illinois, according to Gary M. Broadbent, media director and assistant general counsel for American Coal. He said they bought The American Coal Company complex from Kerr-McGee Corp. in 1998.

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