Organization raises $90,000 for Blackjewel miners

Posted at 7:02 PM, Sep 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-15 07:26:43-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — More than two months have passed since Blackjewel miners received their last paychecks, which means they’ll continue to block trains carrying coal in Harlan County.

Standing by their side are leaders and volunteers with the non-profit organization With Love from Harlan.

Leslie Bledsoe, the president of the organization, announced they have raised nearly $90,000 for the miners. They’ve also received backpacks, clothes, and household items for families of the miners.

“It’s things like that that keep their spirits up,” Bledsoe said. “Knowing that other people are supporting them and they’ve got other people standing behind them.”

The miners were scheduled to meet with their lawyers Saturday to receive an update on the legal dispute over the “hot goods” question.

Lawyers for the Department of Labor contend that coal is considered “hot goods” and “should be prevented from being transported in interstate commerce until these workers have been paid in accordance with the FLSA.” The acronym stands for the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Blackjewel, meanwhile, wants to move the trains carrying millions of dollars of coal.

The meeting at the tracks was intended for miners and their families. Media were not expected to attend.

The out-of-work miners have blocked the tracks since late July.