UPDATED - Blackjewel/Revelations Mining takes back money paid to employees after filing bankruptcy
Updated: Jul 4, 2019
From WRIL -
On Tuesday July 2, 2019 it was announced that Blackjewel/Revelations Mining had filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in West Virginia's Southern District.
The company informed their employees Monday that they were not to report for work for the evening shift. The mining company has between 200 and 300 people in it's employ in the Cumberland Kentucky area alone.
The Herald-Leader reports that Blackjewel and Revelation owe millions to state and federal agencies, including $60 million to the U.S. Department of the Interior and $6 million to the Kentucky State Treasurer. The companies also have private debtors in Kentucky, including $4 million to Aquatic Resources Management in Lexington, $3.7 million to Jones Oil Company, Inc., in Pikeville, and $2.2 million to Republic Superior Products, LLC., in Lackey.
On Friday June 28, 2019 employees were paid for time they worked. Today we were contacted by employees who stated that money the company paid the Harlan mine employees was deducted from their accounts and they were told by their banks it was a "charge back". One woman told WRIL her husband's check was $3116.73 and that was the exact amount withdrawn from his bank account. She was also told that the action had to do with the company filing bankruptcy.
Several employees have also reported to WRIL that child support payments have been deducted from paychecks, but have not been turned over to the recipients for over three months, some since February.
An employee's husband from Gillette Wyoming who worked for Belle-Ayr mine owned by Blackjewel contacted us stating that they not only pulled money out of the 401K without turning over the funds, the company has not paid in their own portion. Close to 700 employees were put out of work when Eagle Butte and Belle-Ayr were shut down on Monday July 1st. Local sheriff's deputies surrounded the mines and employees have to schedule an appointment to retrieve personal belongings. Also there is a fire burning in a mine there being left to burn because fire departments are not permitted on the property. He also told WRIL that many people have had to take to social media to sell personal items to make ends meet.
We attempted to call the company for a statement, but the four numbers we have found associated with the company have all been disconnected. When we contacted the Darby Fork mins to speak to the mine supervisor, but we were given voicemail. We have however acquired the phone number of one of the President's of the company, David Wayne Osborne, and tried to call him with no answer.
Those we spoke to had already began paying their own bills and are now being charged by their backs for insufficient funds. No word on what their next step is. Anyone who has been affected by this action can call WRIL to let us know at 606-337-1063. We have contacted the West Virginia Attorney General's Office in Charleston. We have been told by the AG's office that any that complaints can be filed using this link. https://ago.wv.gov/Pages/consumercomplaint.aspx
They also connected us with the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration in Charleston who can take complaints at 1-866-487-9243.
In regard to child support payment issues, you will need to contact the county attorney where you reside. If you live in Kentucky you can also contact the KY Attorney General's Office at 502-696-5300. Here is the Kentucky consumer complaint form - https://ag.ky.gov/consumer-protection/complaints/Documents/complaint_gen.pdf