By Gillette News Record Staff via Wyoming News Exchange
GILLETTE — More than 100 Antelope coal mine workers lost their jobs Thursday morning when Navajo Transitional Energy Co. furloughed 93 hourly employees and laid off eight salaried staff.
The furloughs and layoffs are necessary because the demand for Powder River Basin coal continues to wane as energy consumption in the United States has fallen by nearly 20% during the COVID-19 pandemic, said NTEC, which owns the Antelope mine near Wright.
“As COVID-19 continues to ravage the U.S. economy, domestic demand for coal has declined,” the company said in a press release announcing the moves. “While we have taken steps to preserve as many jobs as possible, including temporary pay reductions, the continued decline has resulted in the need for additional workforce reductions at our Antelope mine near Gillette.”
Thursday’s moves comes nearly a month after the company laid off 130 workers, 73 from its Spring Creek mine in southern Montana and 57 at Antelope. NTEC said it doesn’t anticipate more layoffs or furloughs at its other PRB mines.
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