Farmington, New Mexico-based Navajo Transitional Energy Company has laid off approximately 80 Antelope Coal Mine employees today (Aug. 28) who were previously in furlough status since May, company officials stated.
One of the employees laid off – who has worked for the company for more than a decade – received the news of his furlough this morning and called the Budget regarding the layoffs. The employee declined to give his name out of fear of not being rehired later, should the opportunity arise, he said.
The company originally furloughed 93 hourly employees in May. The earlier furloughs and today’s layoffs are attributed to the decline in the world’s coal market and the ongoing effect the coronavirus pandemic has on the economy.
Antelope Coal Mine General Manager Randy Johnson confirmed the layoffs taking place today.
“As we continue to evaluate markets amidst COVID-19 and economic recovery, we do not anticipate any increase in our (coal) orders from our Antelope Coal Mine through the end of the year.
“Based on this information, we have moved the previously furloughed employees to a laid off status. While we regret the hardship this causes, we want to be transparent with our employees and give them every opportunity to move forward and do what is best for them and their families. We will monitor the market conditions and rehire as the opportunity arises,” Johnson said.
Since the furloughs in May, Johnson said a few employees have retired or moved on.