Trapper Mine lays off 22 employees, cutting roughly 12% of its workforce |

Trapper Mine lays off 22 employees, cutting roughly 12% of its workforce

Layoffs occurred Monday afternoon as the mine notified workers with their last checks

Trapper Mine cut its workforce by 12% Monday, laying off 22 employees.

Trapper Mine President Michael Morriss stated Wednesday morning that the significant layoff had to do with a reduction in production for 2021 and beyond.

“Our production schedule changed in 2021, so we had to match our workforce with the amount of work that we had. It’s really that basic,” Morriss said. “Production is down in 2021, and we’ll stay the same from 2021 to 2025.”

The 22 employees laid off represents roughly 12% of Trapper Mine’s workforce of 185 employees.

Morriss said this shouldn’t have been a surprise, considering he was telegraphing a reduction in production for more than a year.

“Not one employee can tell you I wasn’t telegraphing this for one year or longer,” Morriss said Wednesday. “I’ve held regular meetings with employees and provided consistent updates with employees. I’ve telegraphed we were facing reduction for 2021”.

The coal mine, a supplier to the nearby Craig Station power generating plant, is expected to shut down as a result of the plant’s planned closure in the coming decade. The mine’s closure is expected somewhere between 2026 and 2030, which was announced in mid-January.

Trapper, a surface mine, was opened to supply units 1 and 2 at Craig Station, and produced about 2 million tons of coal in 2019. Both the mine and those units are owned by multiple utilities.

Morriss stated that there will be no employees working overtime this weekend due to the layoffs.

“Overtime will be less this year than it was last year, even with the reduction in production,” Morriss said.“ We’re not working any overtime this weekend because we didn’t have any volunteers and that’s fine.”

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