Westmoreland Coal Company, the bankrupt coal firm that currently owns the coal mine located in Kemmerer, has asked a Texas bankruptcy judge for permission to eliminate retirement obligations to its former workers at the Wyoming mine and cancel the current contracts between unionized miners in the Lincoln County area and the company.
Westmoreland Coal Company is also looking to reject a collective bargaining agreement with its North Dakota mine.
According to court documents, obligations to workers, such as $70 million in medical benefits to retired miners that have worked at the Kemmerer mine, are considered not acceptable to potential buyers of the Kemmerer mine.
The future of the Kemmerer mine, post-bankruptcy is also endangered, making the retention of expensive obligations to miners unjustified.
According to court documents, the company has no choice but to cut retirement and benefit costs.
The Kemmerer mine employs roughly 286 miners in the Lincoln County area. The mine’s main customer is the nearby Naughton Power Plant, which is owned and operated by PacifiCorp.
To view the full court documents click here.