Peabody cuts 235 positions at North Antelope Rochelle Mine

(Gillette, Wyo.) This morning in a press statement to media, Peabody Energy has admitted they are cutting approximately 235 hourly and salaried employees from its NARM location in Campbell County. The statement comes after days of rumors from mine workers that employees were being released from employment ten at a time. “While our asset position and contracting strategies give us relative strength, we are taking these actions to match production with customer demand,” said Peabody President Kemal Williamson. “We regret the impact of these actions on our employees, their families, and the surrounding communities in the Campbell and Converse county areas.” The reductions affect approximately 15 percent of the workforce at the mine. Rumors that employees were being laid off at random with no regard for work history or seniority were not addressed in the company statement. They went on to say they are "taking steps to ease the transition through severance and outplacement support." Williamson noted the company has regularly worked to minimize job impacts by actively anticipating and adjusting staffing resources, managing contractors and temporary employees, and using natural turnover to lower staffing levels. "U.S. coal industry conditions have remained challenged, impacted by an oversupply of natural gas and mild winter weather," according to their press release. "The U.S. coal industry has seen unprecedented shipment declines this year. Heating degree days year-to-date are 17 percent lower than last year, with March heating degree days down nearly 30 percent versus the 10-year average." Peabody’s Powder River Basin operations employ approximately 1,500 workers with approximately 1,150 employed at the North Antelope Rochelle Mine following these reductions. The company’s Powder River Basin operations injected $5.5 billion in direct and indirect economic benefits into the region this past year. According to employees who have spoke anonymously to County 17, they are being told not to talk to press, and that more layoffs may be coming in the following month. Allegedly there is an employee meeting at Rawhide Friday morning. #county17 #news