Twentymile cuts about 15 full-time employees

Officials: Reduction due to changing operations


Peabody Energy officials confirmed Monday that Twentymile Coal Co., which Peabody owns, recently terminated about 15 full-time positions at the mine.

Twentymile is located in Routt County but employs many Moffat County residents.

The reduction leaves the mine with a total work force of about 525 employees, Twentymile spokeswoman Beth Sutton said.

Sutton added that the mine plans to continue producing about the same amount of coal in the future — more than 8 million tons per year — and that the staff cuts are related to changing operations at the mine.

Twentymile has operated three continuous miner machines in addition to mining from its longwall during the past several months, Sutton said.

Mine officials plan to shut down one continuous miner, which Sutton said has been digging a path to move the mine’s longwall, a process that is now completed.

“The Twentymile mine has run three continuous mining sections since 2008 to keep up with longwall development needs,” she said. “With development work in the third section coming to a close, the mine will operate two continuous mining sections this year, in addition to the longwall.

“We have matched our staffing levels to our production needs.”

Sutton added that the workers let go were offered a severance package, but the terms are confidential.

The staffing cuts at Twen­tymile differ from those announced in December 2009 at the Colowyo Coal Co. mine in southern Moffat County and northern Rio Blanco County.

Colowyo officials said the mine’s decision to cut staff by 10 percent — about 30 jobs — came because it is having difficulty attracting long-term purchasing contracts.

The mine’s business plan is based on gathering buyers who will contract to purchase coal for 10 years or more, which officials said has been difficult in the current economic and political climate.

Colowyo also plans to cut its coal production by about half, which Twentymile does not plan to do.

Colowyo officials said the mine sold between 4.5 million to 6.4 million tons from 1994 to 2008, but it projects to sell about 2.5 million tons in 2010 after selling roughly 2.7 million tons in the first nine months of 2009.

Collin Smith can be reached at 875-1794 or cesmith@craigdaily­


emsviper3 7 years, 2 months ago

A lot of families were affected by this lay-off. I feel that the mine should have given these men some notice of what was going to happen so that they had time to find another job. Most of these men have families to support. I should know, my husband was one of them. Now he has to file for unemployment, find another job that at least pays half of what he was making, just so we don't lose our home and be able to pay the bills on time. I think who ever decided who was getting laid off, should have also thought about the families that it affects.


blueyes 7 years, 2 months ago

I am sorry to say that Twentymile Coal doesn’t care one bit about family. They don’t even care about the employees all you are is a strong back and no brain. I am so glad that I walked away from that place after putting my family and body through the terror of coming home cranky not feeling good. Twentymile Coal was a good job for 20 years. The way that Peabody Energy has taken a very safe and good place to work and turned it into a place that one day that I am afraid to say is going to kill someone or blow the mine up. I did my best to make it safe. Every time I had a problem and tried to get it fixed I was yelled at and treated like a third class citizen. My boss was one that didn’t care if you were working safe as long as you got the job done. Just being yelled at all the time was stress full. I do understand that coming to work one day and then told out of nowhere to clean your locker out turn in you equipment and get off the property is not a pleasant feeling at all. Right after the holidays in the winter with the job market as it is. I hope that for all that have lost there job that you will be able to find work. Keep up your sprit. I know that going from making 30 dollars to 12 dollars an hour is tuff but keep your chin up. There is hope and life on the other side of coal mining. I know that me and my family are very happy and its also great to get up and go to a job that is a lot less stressful come home happy is more than money.


als362 7 years, 2 months ago

If it is that unsafe, call MSHA or OSHA. I have called OSHA before and recieved help on a wide variety of issues. You can find the phone numbers on the internet.


lonelyone 7 years, 2 months ago

als326, is right. there is an OSHA office right here in Craig. Since the fire at the country mall, I think, but am not sure that the office is in the Center of Craig now. If you've been laid off, don't call OSHA out of spite, do it for the safety of the people you worked with.


blueyes 7 years, 2 months ago

Well to start off OSHA aka Occupation Safety and Health Administration as nothing to do with coal mining at all. MSHA or the Mine Safety and Health Administration is the ones that have to do with coal mining and there offices that were in the old country mall are now on Baker Drive behind the pet store. Believe me I have call my friends at MSHA all the time about the unsafe work practices that went on at Twentymile Coal. I have not tolerance to people working in unsafe places. The federal mine safety & health ACT of 1977 protects miners from the company and there bosses that try’s to make employees do things that violate there rights. I am not saying that just because you have been laid off you should call MSHA. Revenge by calling MSHA will not get your job back. MASH has a lot of things that are important but to chase ghosts from someone who wants revenge is not one of them. I know that if there is a need for a 105 g then they will be there. By the way if this is too technical you can go to the web site and you can find all the information there. Like the fact there has already had one death in a coal mine this year. The last deaths that happen in Colorado were on 4/15/1981 Mid-Continent Resources Dutch Creek #1 where 15 miners died from an Explosion. The same group of people that worked there are most of the upper management that are in charge of Twentymile Coal. There have been some very serious accidents at Twentymile. I just hope that those that are still at the mine take time to do there job right and not get hurt and do the right thing call MSHA and not get pushed around by Peabody Energy, Twentymile Coal or any other coal mine that we have in North West Colorado. Miners are an important part of are daily life more that most of you think.


lonelyone 7 years, 2 months ago

blueyes, I stand corrected. I should have refered to MSHA and not OSHA. I did not know they were behind Baker Drive Pets tho. And I do not believe anyone mentioned getting ahold of MSHA for revenge. I simply stated if you know of safety violations then maybe you should report them and save someones life.......revenge was not mentioned. Sounds like it's been a long time since you worked there and your still an angry person.


blueyes 7 years, 2 months ago

Lonelyone I am not angry or hold ill will towards Twentymile Coal. I walked away from a very good job. It was my choice there comes a point in ones life that you have to jump into the unknown feet first. I did and can say that my family and I are much happier for my decision. I have a great job now one that is far better and a lot less stressful. Even know I don’t make as much money as before, happiness is far more important than money any day. I never did say any thing about revenge first you my friend are the one if you look up the definitions of the words spite and revenge there mean the close to the same thing. Spite; petty ill will a malicious, usually small-minded desire to harm or humiliate somebody. Revenge; the desire or urge to get even with somebody else who has caused harm. I am not going to get into a contest of words with you or any one else. I feel that what Twentymile coal has done to these people and there family’s was very wrong not even giving them the forewarning makes people very unhappy. This day and the way things are going with the economy no one can afford to be with out work.


taxslave 7 years, 2 months ago

Back to the layoff part...the economy is in shambles and it's going to get worse. This is a video of Ron Paul telling it like it is from the floor of the House of Representatives. He says what's going on is insane and it's going to get worse.


Frank Estey 7 years, 2 months ago

As a part of its 2010 business plan, TMH hopes to increase the number of births another 18 percent. Part of the plan to increase market share in births included adding a new OB/GYN, Dr. K.C. Keating, who began work in July.

With the slowdown in the energy industry in Western Colorado, elimination of jobs and reduction in medical benefits at most companies with well paying jobs, where are all the paying customers coming from to fund the 2010 Memorial Hospital’s Business Plan?


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