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Blackjewel strikes deal with federal government to pay back wages to coal miners

Federal officials reached an agreement to pay back wages due to miners who were affected by the sudden closure of Blackjewel LLC's coal mining operations following complications with the company's bankruptcy restructuring.

Consent orders were filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia guaranteeing that Blackjewel miners who are owed backpay would receive their compensation. The orders were the result of an agreement reached between Blackjewel, related corporate entities and the U.S. Department of Labor.

The consent decree prevents Blackjewel from withholding gross back wages totaling $2.7 million that are due to certain employees and former employees listed and identified in the document. Various state officials publicly called out Blackjewel's actions and some joined in taking legal action against the company in the months following the company's bankruptcy.

"I am grateful that our perseverance has provided welcome and deserving news for the miners and their families," Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said in an Oct. 24 news release. "May we always appreciate the hard work of our coal miners, and may we always fight as hard on their behalf as they do to keep the lights on in our communities."

According to the governor's news release, money will be paid out to 658 of Kentucky's Blackjewel miners from the Black Mountain and Lone Mountain mines.