PAX – Locals are reacting to possible layoffs by Alpha Natural Resources.
A day after the Bristol, Va. company announced plans to possibly downsize mining operations in West Virginia, and locals aren't surprised.
Alpha notified employees that the mines they work at are subject to being idled due to weak market conditions and government regulations.
The change could affect 1,100 employees at 11 surface mines and plants by mid-October.
Ex-miners like Alan Colasieno know this feeling all too well.
“Stress, anxiety, what am I going to do?” says Colasieno, reflecting on what his fellow miners are thinking.
“A lot of them, this is all they know to do is coal mine. A lot of them are up in years, good luck finding a job somewhere else.”
Mayor William Hughes is concerned about the money coming into the area and what the layoff will do to the local economy.
“It will impact this business and currently this is the only business in Pax,” says Hughes, sitting at the Korner Gas & Grill, “And we draw a lot of people off the turnpike that come here.”
Industry forecasts the 2015 production will be less than half the region's output from 2009.