Kentucky miners block coal train over missed paychecks

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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Some Kentucky coal miners and their families stood on train tracks Monday to prevent a train loaded with coal from leaving, saying they had worked since Dec. 16 without being paid.

The tracks lead from Quest Energy in Pike County. A CSX crew went to the tracks to get the engine and left the loaded train cars there, WYMT-TV reported.

Miners told the station they expected to be paid Friday, then were told to wait until Monday, when the date was pushed back again.

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Quest Energy was closed for the day and couldn’t be reached for comment later Monday.

Miners at the tracks told the Lexington Herald-Leader about 50 miners are owed for three weeks of work.

“They won’t get their coal until we’re paid,” said Kenny Collins, who operates a shuttle car at the underground mine. He said his power was cut off Monday, and he is owed more than $3,000.

Miners last summer in Harlan County held a similar protest when Blackjewel filed bankruptcy. The miners eventually were given a deal to be paid and let the train pass.