Peabody Lays Off PRB Miners

As it continues to consider its next fi - nancial move after warning of potential bankruptcy, Peabody Energy confi rmed March 31 that it will cut 235 positions from its payroll at one of the nation’s largest mines, the North Antelope Rochelle (NAR) operation in Wyoming. Offi cials, who cited an alignment of the Powder River Basin (PRB) mine’s workforce with customer needs for the decision, said the impacted employees are both hourly and salaried.

While the company did not indicate whether the layoffs would be permanent, it did note that it had already been trying to minimize staffi ng impacts by adjusting its resources and relying on natural turnover. Peabody has offered workers severance as well as outplacement support. “While our asset position and contracting strategies give us relative strength, we are taking these actions to match production with customer demand,” Peabody President—Americas Kemal Williamson said. “We regret the impact of these actions on our employees, their families and the surrounding communities.”

About 1,150 will remain employed at NAR post-cut. In all, Peabody has 1,500 miners working in the PRB region, which includes the Rawhide and Caballo complexes. NAR alone produced 109 million tons of coal last year. As Peabody noted in its announcement, the region has fared better than other coalfi elds, primarily due to cost advantages.

As featured in Womp 2016 Vol 04 -