NEW LEXINGTON — CCU Coal and Construction sent a notice on Aug. 28 that the company will undergo permanent employment workforce reduction. Among the affected are four locations in Perry County, which holds a workforce of 115 employees.
“The biggest thing driving this is the Conesville Power Plant is going to be shutting down early next year,” Chief Financial Officer Alan Call told The Perry County Tribune. “That's a large percentage of our business.”
Last month, CCU Coal and Construction submitted a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification letter with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Office of Workforce Development. The State of Ohio follows federal rules under the Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification Act that provides security to workers, families and communities. This is done by requiring employers to give a written notice at least 60 days in advance.
In the letter sent that was submitted, the first sentence states that the company plans to reduce its workforce. Next on the letter, the Chief Financial Officer writes that the company does not “expect” to close down any of its facilities. All of the Perry County locations are “significant” distances from each other.
The letter also states that no bumping or transfer rights are available for any of the employee positions. This is because the distance between all of the potentially affected mines are too far away from one another. In order for employees to transfer from a location, the two locations would have to be a “reasonable distance” for a transfer to be accepted as stated by Call.
The reduction of CCU’s workforce is permanent and will start around Oct. 31. The letter also shows the number of the job titles that will be affected by the massive layoffs. Also noted is a list of affected CCU facility by location. Three locations in Perry County are among those who will be affected by the future workforce reduction.
The reasoning behind CCU’s notice of reduction comes along the tides of news regarding the American Electric Power (AEP) plant in Conesville. Call stated that the coal-fired plant was a “large percentage” of the company’s business. He added that most of the coal used at the Conesville plant came out of the Buckingham Mine located in Monroe Township.
AEP made an announcement last year that its Conesville Power Plant would be closing. With a major customer closing its doors soon, CCU has been attempting to gather more customers for its coal, but with no success, according to Call.
Since no success was made in gaining additional coal customers, over 200 employees may be affected when employment reduction hits in late October. One location is in Perry County and has a total of 102 employees working at the Buckingham site. The Cannon site is located in Crooksville and has a total of five employees. One site in New Lexington also has four employees working and another site in Roseville also has four employees. In total, The massive reduction plans by CCU has the possibility of affecting the future of 115 employees it has in Perry County.