HARLAN COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – Blackjewel LLC filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early July leaving these miners without jobs. But what brings them out here this week is the fact that their last paychecks all bounced leaving them without means to support their families.
“I can’t buy my kids school supplies, I can’t buy my kids school clothes, I can’t buy my kids school shoes. Struggling right now to put food on the table,” said miner Jared Blevins.
Despite Blevins being owed thousands of dollars he and other supporters were cheering as a CSX train passed through without the coal it was supposed to haul.
When the Blackjewel miners heard a train would be hauling away the coal they mined, but haven’t been paid for, that’s when they decided to take a stand
“We heard at the train leaving here and it wasn’t right for them to be making all these millions of dollars and then we got families here starving. So, we want our paychecks that we earned,” said miner Chris Rowe.
The protest started with a handful of people but has quickly gained attention from miners in other states and now the eyes of the national news media.
“When we see injustice we don’t care how far we have to travel. We travel because we want to stop this injustice, we want these people to get their pay and their salaries. What they deserve, this is their livelihood that’s being threatened here,” said James Gibbs with UMWA.