Laid-off miners sue

FIVE eastern Kentucky miners who were laid off have filed suits claiming a Tennessee coal company had not paid them what they are owed.
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Noel Dyson

According to an Associated Press report, the miners have filed suits in the Letcher Circuit Court against Blountville, Tennessee-based United Coal and its subsidiaries Sapphire Coal and Wellmore.

The suits say the employees signed a “loyalty reward plan” that offered early payment of deferred compensation for layoffs or closing. They say the companies have not provided those payments.

The complaints do not say how much the miners believe they are owed but do say the “amount in controversy does not exceed $75,000”

United announced in the spring that it was closing its Sapphire operations and laying off 163 workers.

The company also laid off miners from its Wellmore subsidiary, including from an underground mine in Pike County, where some of the men worked.

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