Nonunion coal companies offer incentives to retain miners
By Tim Huber, AP Business Writer
Charleston, W.Va. (AP) -- Even as a wave of job cuts afflict workers nationwide, in coal country, mine operators are offering free health insurance, gas money, stock and bonuses to lure enough miners as coal fetches record prices.
Abingdon, Va.-based Alpha Natural Resources announced Thursday that it would dole out 25 shares of stock to each of its 3,600 employees in hopes that they'll stay put. It will pay bonuses of up to $9,000 to miners who stay three years, and will pay even more to members of highly trained rescue squads.
Richmond, Va.-based Massey Energy Co., the nation's No. 4 coal producer, recently offered guaranteed three-year contracts to individual miners. (link)
This is fabulous news in tough times.
I think it's fair to say that officials at Alpha Natural Resources and Massey Energy understand that they will get no support from our politicial leadership here in Southwest Virginia. Probably just as well that they - from Rick Boucher on down - dick around with hiking trails and bike paths. At least they're not standing in the way of progress.