Blaschak Coal workers face temporary layoffs
MAHANOY CITY - Blaschak Coal Corporation has temporarily laid off workers at its three mining operations in order to reduce its inventory of coal, with workers to return in early December.
Blaschak President/CEO Greg Driscoll said employees will return to work on Dec. 3.
"What we have done is suspend our mining operations for three weeks, with everyone back at work on Dec. 3," said Driscoll. "This went into effect on Nov. 12.
The three mining operations affected are at Centralia, Primrose (north of Mahanoy City) and Lattimer near Hazleton. Driscoll did not have the number of employees laid off during the phone interview.
Driscoll said the layoffs were because of slower coal sales than expected and an increase in the amount of coal mined and in inventory.
"Coal sales are very slow right now throughout the industry. We had a very, very strong mining year so far year-to-date," said Driscoll. "We have a lot of inventory on the ground, and we have to move the inventory we have. We don't don't have any place else to put coal on the ground right now."
He added, "We're moving the coal as fast and aggressively as we can, and we are absolutely certain of the guys coming back on Dec. 3. We're still selling coal."