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AG: Nearly 1,000 Miners Face Same Risk As Blackjewel Workers

AP Photo/David Goldman

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear's office says nearly 1,000 mining employees are in danger of facing the same battle for back pay that has led to protracted protests in Harlan County. 

"I have received that report and it is startling," Beshear told reporters Thursday. 

Beshear says a new release from his staff shows the Kentucky Labor Cabinet "may have failed to secure a single performance bond for any mining company operating in the state.”

"There are nearly 30 licensed companies and there could be more that appear to be subject to this requirement, and the Labor Cabinet has not required one of them to post the bond to protect the workers," the top law enforcement official said. 

The Democrat and candidate for governor maintains the bonds are required by law for any mining company that has existed less than five years – and would have ensured the miners protesting for pay from bankrupt Blackjewel would have received their paychecks.

Labor Cabinet Secretary David Dickerson told the Lexington Herald-Leader that there is no method that allows the Cabinet to uncover when companies required to post the bond opened.

Beshear’s office says it cited public data. 

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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