Murray Energy Corp., which is the biggest privately-owned coal company in the United States, fired 163 workers at its three subsidies. The company cited the War on Coal by the Obama administration as the reason for the jobs cuts. The company made the announcement a day after the re-election of President Barack Obama.
Murray fire 54 workers at the American Coal Co. that is based in Galatia, Illinois. The company also fired 102 workers at Utah American Energy Inc. in East Carbon, Utah. Murray also fired seven employees at Kanawha Transportation Center Inc. in Wheeling, West Virginia.
Coal producers in the United States have closed down mines and fired thousands of employees this year after they cut millions of tons of output due to weaker demand and prices. Coal use was reduced as power stations switched to cheaper natural gas for fuel.
The coal industry has faced new regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency that restrict the burning of coal to generate power. They also curb the issuance of new mining permits. Murray Energy said that it was difficult to lay people off. It also went on to say that Obama administration’s War on Coal has destroyed coal markets and led to the massive layoffs in the sector.
Chief Executive Officer Robert Murray read a prayer to workers that asked God’s forgiveness for the decisions that the company was forced to make to preserve the very existence of enterprises that God has helped them build. He did this during a conference call.
The events showed how important it is to have strong labor unions. According to analysts, companies should not be allowed to dismiss its employees based on speculation retribution or to make a political point. If the workers at Murray Energy had the protection of strong unions, the job cuts would not have happened.