HARLAN COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Ned Pillersdorf, the attorney representing the out-of-work miners in Harlan County, made an announcement about the bankruptcy court results Tuesday.
The coal company the miners worked for, BlackJewel declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the beginning of July, saying that they would need around $6 million to pay their employees. Weeks passed since the miners' final paychecks bounced and the workers began protesting to get paid for their labor. The protesters are camped out on the train tracks near Cumberland to block coal trains from passing.
The miners did strike a deal with CSX to allow their engine to be retrieved without the cars carrying the coal. A video showed that as the engine pulled away, the protesters chanted, "no pay, no coal."
The miners and their families were struggling to pay their bills, even with donations.
Pillersdorf announced on Tuesday that the result in bankruptcy court "far exceeded" his "grim predictions." He said that Kopper Glo was approved as the bidder for Lone and Black Mountain mining operations. Pillersdorf said that Kopper Glo pledged 450k to cover the back wages of the miners, whether they come to work or not. He said that in order to recover the rest of what they are owed, the miners will have a priority lien against the $6 million that Kopper Glo will pay to the debtor.
You can read the full statement below: