Beshear teams with Virginia AG to get wages to miners

After filing for bankruptcy, Blackjewel LLC shut down the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr coal mines near Gillette, Wyo. (MGN)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WBKO) -- Kentucky Attorney General and democratic candidate for governor Andy Beshear is demanding pay for over 1,000 coal miners whose company filed for bankruptcy.

Beshear said Blackjewel, a coal company operating in Kentucky and Virginia, filed for bankruptcy unexpectedly at the beginning of July. He said over 1,000 miners have yet to receive pay owed to them.

Blackjewel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in West Virginia on July 1. Beshear said he directed his staff to seek out all employees affected by that bankruptcy within the same week.

With Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, Beshear issued a joint request to the Office of the United States Trustee, citing the stories of miners from both states who said the company's conduct after the bankruptcy affected their lives.

Beshear said many miners are facing overdraft fees and other forms of financial harm.

“Even more egregious than the missed paychecks are the reports that some employees actually had their wages taken back out after the money had shown up in their accounts," Beshear said. "These workers deserve the wages they earned and I’m going to use every tool at my disposal to make sure they get paid."

The CEO of Blackjewel said he expects the company to bounce back, according to the Associated Press.

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