As a result of low coal prices, Consol Energy has dropped its workweeks from five days to four days.
Consol employees and contractors that work in the Harvey, Bailey and Enlow Fork mines located in Washington and Greene counties in Pennsylvania are the only ones to be impacted by the shortened workweek. It isn’t exactly clear how many employees and contractors are receiving the four-day workweeks, but Consol currently employs an estimated 1,849 people in Pennsylvania. Consol’s spokesperson Kate O’Donovan explained the company’s decision to shrink its workweek:
There is no reduction in workforce. Because of the strength of this world-class complex we have the ability to throttle back activity until prices recover and position our Pennsylvania operations to capitalize when the markets turn.
As reported by the Pittsburgh Business Times, “In 2014, the three longwall mines, which lie under Washington and Greene counties, yielded 26.1 million tons of thermal coal, about 92 percent of capacity. O’Donovan said that in spite of the shift reduction, production is still expected to fall within its forecast of 24.9 million to 26.6 million tons in 2015. However, she said, production likely will fall toward the low end of the range.”
Over the last decade, Consol has invested tens of millions of dollars in upgrades for its mines, most of it going towards the newest technology available.
Other companies are also looking to cut back, including Alpha Natural Resources. Alpha owns two mines in Greene County, the Emerald mind and Cumberland mine. The company says it is looking at ways to cut back production and costs.