Kentucky Miners Block Another CSX Coal Train

Kentucky coal miners who say they have yet to be paid for all of their work blocked a coal train on CSX tracks on Monday.

The miners, who are employed by Quest Energy, prevented a loaded coal train from leaving a mine near Pikeville on the Coal Run Subdivision.

News reports indicate the miners said they have not been paid in three weeks, with their last paychecks having been deposited into their bank accounts in late December for work completed in a pay period ending Dec. 22.

They contend that Quest has not paid them since then.

The 120-car train was carrying metallurgical coal and had been loaded on Sunday night.

The miners allowed a CSX crew to retrieve two locomotives from the train provided that the loaded coal hoppers were left behind.

It is not clear what is the destination of the coal train ,which had 20 cars filled with coal mined by a company not owned by Quest.

Quest parent company American Resources Corporation took issue in a statement with the miners’ claim they had not been paid for their work.

The statement contended that some employees are behind between one and eight days on being paid and that Quest is working to pay them.

The statement attributed the situation to Quest’s efforts to make some mines more productive combined with “a short-term blip in the coal markets.”

Quest said it expects to resolve a “few short-term issues” in the near future.

The blockade was the second to occur in Kentucky within the past year by miners who said they had not been paid for their work.

Last July minors at a Harlan County mine prevented a coal train loaded by Blackjewel to leave on the CSX Poor Fork Subdivision.

At the time Blackjewel was in bankruptcy proceedings and the protesting miners had been laid off without being paid.

That standoff lasted into the fall and ended when the miners began to receive paychecks following intervention in the bankruptcy case by state and federal officials.

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