Kentucky AG: Labor Cabinet hasn’t secured coal mining bonds

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear says the state’s Labor Cabinet hasn’t secured the necessary bonds from coal companies that would cover wage payments to miners if their employer unexpectedly shuts down.

Beshear, a Democrat running for governor, announced on Thursday that his office examined records of Kentucky companies that should be required to pay the bonds. State law requires performance bonds from certain companies in business for less than five years. Beshear says 1,000 miners are working for coal companies that haven’t paid the bond.

Some Kentucky miners were left with bounced paychecks after one coal company, West Virginia-based Blackjewel, filed for bankruptcy on July 1. Some of those miners are protesting the lack of payments by blocking a coal shipment sitting on railroad tracks in Harlan County.