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OAKMAN, Ala. (WIAT) — Another coal mining company is reportedly planning some big cutbacks at a local mine starting in two months.
Drummond Company has scheduled the layoffs of 425 workers at its Shoal Creek Mine in Oakman starting September 9th, according to documents filed with the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.
Darrell Dewberry, UMWA International VP of District 20, says another local mind is planning to cut approximately 80 jobs as well.
“Also, Walter Energy is shutting down and gave us a WARN notice on this Tuscaloosa Resources strip operation right here in Brookwood, which will adversely affect probably 85-100 people,” Dewberry said. “It’s going to have a devastating effect on the community. A lot of the neighbors around here, I live in this vicinity, are losing their jobs.”
According to Dewberry this will have a devastating impact not only on the coal mining industry in Alabama, but also on related fields and have a negative impact on the states economy as a whole.
The people who work in that area say coal is the lifeblood of the economy there.
On top of the hundreds of jobs in Walker, Jefferson, and Tuscaloosa County Dewberry says the layoffs could actually impact thousands of other jobs and related fields.
“We open at 5 am every morning and I’d say about 80% of my customers are the coal miners so it’s very important to not just us, but everybody on 216,” said Wanda Hendricks, who works at DJ’s Food Mart. “I’m really worried about it not for us here so much as for the people that are getting laid off. You know that, that’s my main concern. You know you got people out there that have small children. People that’s been there 15-20 years that are depending on the retirement and everything you know? How’s that going to go for them?
Dewberry says they’re not shutting down because they’re running out of coal.
“Its’ the market. [That’s] what they told me — it was the market here in America,” Dewberry explained.
Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42