Montana Coal Mine Furloughs Workers Amid Diminished Demand

Decker Coal Company furloughed 98 miners Friday

By Associated Press

CASPER, Wyo. — Another Powder River Basin coal mine has reduced its work force in response to weak market conditions.

Decker Coal Company furloughed 98 miners Friday, sending them home until May 26, according to a company statement.

The Decker coal mine is in southern Montana, just north of the Wyoming line.

“We are sorry for our dedicated workers, their families and the community who are directly affected,” Leonard Wolff, the general manager at Decker Coal Company, said in a statement. “We look forward to resuming contracted deliveries as soon as possible.”

The mine’s domestic customers stopped accepting shipments recently, the company told the Casper Star-Tribune.

Nearly 400 coal miners in the Powder River Basin have been laid off as less electricity use during the coronavirus pandemic diminishes demand for coal-fired power.

The Decker mine produced over 1 million tons (900 metric tons) of coal and employed 164 workers in the first quarter of 2020, according to the U.S. Mining Safety and Health Administration.

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