ANR spends big to hold employees

VIRGINIA producer Alpha Natural Resources announced Thursday it will provide a multi-year package of employee incentives worth more than $US13 million in its first year.
ANR spends big to hold employees ANR spends big to hold employees ANR spends big to hold employees ANR spends big to hold employees ANR spends big to hold employees

Courtesy Alpha Natural Resources.

Donna Schmidt

The company's more than 3600 workers at 58 mining properties in four states have been awarded a grant of 25 shares of company stock and now will receive fully paid health, dental and vision insurance through ANR. Semi-annual bonuses will also be bestowed to operating staff for continued service.

The company estimated the package's value to the average employee is $3 per hour.

Mine rescue team members and trainers will also receive rewards in the form of cash payments and vacation money. Employees suffering from higher commuting costs due to increased gas prices will be able to take advantage of a fuel assistance and energy relief program.

“We see this as a significant day – maybe the most significant – in our company's history," said ANR chairman Michael Quillen.

“Alpha's shareholders have benefited from their dedication and hard work, and it's time that we publicly acknowledge their efforts."

Alpha president Kevin Crutchfield added: "Today, coal finds itself squarely in the middle of our nation's discussion of energy independence. It's time we readied ourselves for an exciting future by first publicly expressing our appreciation for our miners and their families and, secondly, by introducing incentives to attract and retain the next generation of miners."

According to the National Mining Association, with the average miner being 50 years old the industry could need approximately 50,000 new miners in the next decade.

ANR has operations in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania.