LOGAN, W.Va. — A member of a UMWA local in Logan County is seeking help for soon-to-be laid off coal miners.

Roger Horton of the group Citizens for Coal and a member of Local 5958 said he’s urging public officeholders and others to step forward to help the 250 hourly and salaried employees impacted by the announced closing of Patriot Coal’s Guyan surface mine and Fanco preparation plant.

Horton said he’s been asked by the local union president to seek the assistance.

“To help him in his endeavors…to find offers of retraining and the necessary money to do so,” Horton said.

Patriot issued a 60-day WARN notice earlier this week. Horton said WARN opens the door for readjustment and retraining and that’s what he intends to seek.

“In order to help these nearly 300 people, both salaried and hourly, who are going to be displaced,” Horton said.

Patriot is currently operating under bankruptcy status. Closing the operations in Logan County is part of the company’s efforts to reorganize. It’s coming sooner than expected though because of the depressed coal market.

Horton said he’s concerned what might happen if retraining opportunities are not available. He noted what he saw happen after the Sharples mine in Logan County closed a few years ago.

“Over 400 men and women who worked there were laid off and I saw the divorce rate rise, suicides, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, all accelerate,” Horton said.

Patriot said it expects about 50 of the workers named in this week’s layoff to get jobs at other Patriot operations.

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  • Duggie

    The union has supported the Democrate Party for as long as I can remember. Where is Roberts now? Why doesn't coal trucks circle the White House in protest......oh yeah. They cause pollution.

  • David Kennedy

    Coal should be the bridge into the next generation of fuel usage (Natural Gas).
    We have a syn-fuels plant in Morgantown that is ready to create gasoline and fuel oil from coal. This should be a national priority with things as they are in the middle east.
    This state was in the liquor business for 60 years, why not sell gasoline?
    It's the EPA and Obama who are destroying these jobs. The situation will not correct itself under this administration.
    A business is in business to make money...not go broke from crack-pot regulations and whim legislation.
    My advice is to plant a huge garden and get ready for the long haul of being poor.
    The help you get will come from yourself.

    • Ken

      David, I agree with your statement that help will come from yourself. I have known of Roger Horton (who is mentioned in this article) for several years. Mr. Horton is now retired but he has always been a voice for coal miners and I think would be a voice for any legitimite need. He appears to be a advocate for jobs, period. We could use more people like Mr. Horton in every community. I don't hear of the company doing anything but handing out 60 day WARNS. Years ago companies used to interact with workforce, etc. to help those laid off. And I agree those laid off need to help themselves. But there is also a lot of greed today with companies and society seems to accept this more and more. That bonus money in their pocket is more important than anything else.

    • Hillbilly

      Obama wants to cut out funding for the NETL facility in Morgantown too....

  • It would make too much sense

    Go AWAY UNION! It appears they are at the rate their membership is declining.

    • Matt

      I was being sarcastic......

  • Matt


  • It would make too much sense

    UMWA= United Moochers Without Assets!

  • Woodchuck

    They could become lawyers so they can help Big Cecil with his protesting court dates.

    Please someone tell me what the Union gives those who are laid off? You pay the dues, what do you get?

  • Mike

    And the Union does what for its members?

  • It would make too much sense

    Go apply for unemployment. The company gave them advanced notice, use the time to look for a new job. Or ask Uncle Cecil for some union relief from the so called funds and dues extorted/ciollected.

  • Joe

    Why don't they just coordinate Workforce WV? That's where an enormous amount of tax money goes for employee retraining. Now, understand, it is for those who sincerely want to be retrained for a new career. Not a day off to waste time or as a farce to be able to tell the unemployment office you are "trying".

  • RogerD

    This is sad in the same way an abused wife keeps going back to her abusive husband. All mine workers should have divorced Roberts and Obama a long time ago.

  • Don't Suck on the Government Teet

    They need to quit whining and go look for other jobs!

  • Joe

    Where are all those union dues now thayt they are needed.

    Cry me a river.

    It's a big country out there. Lots of available good paying mining jobs in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming. Go get them. Don't expect the jobs to come to you, and any excuses of why you can't are BS.

  • Non union dude

    Y pay union dues look what it gets you idiots non union way to go Lol

  • What happened to wv?

    Are we really this blinded by our government? They create mine closures by not doing what is necessary to keep these mines open. The same people who voted these people in are asking for help/handouts. We need to start voting pro-business and then see what happens. Don't ask for money from the government. We are already overtaxed as it is. I thought the unions were there to take care of them in situations like this?

  • blugldmn

    Your asking for help from the people who are partly responsible for you losing your jobs....

    Your help is at the unemployment office just like the rest of America why do you think you should get special treatment.

    Youve been coddled enough by your union, where is the union's offer of help?

    • Jr

      Where is Obama? The "union" backed him at election time. Time for payback. He has helped everyone else who backed him. The illegal imms. The welfare recipients. Etc....