The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

May 31, 2013

PBS Coals lays off 134 workers


JOHNSTOWN — PBS Coals, a Friedens-based mining company providing metallurgical and steam coals, has laid off 134 employees, effective today.

The layoffs will reduce the company’s workforce to 552 workers, said Lori J. Mason, general counsel and government affairs manager for PBS Coals.

The layoffs are not focused on one area of production, and they are company-wide, even affecting administration, Mason said.

“They were from many different sites,” she said, adding that the 134 layoffs are a result of economic decline.

“The domestic market is low, and we sell to international markets – the big players are China and India – but there isn’t a lot of economic growth there either.”

Though the layoffs are permanent, Mason said jobs may open up for those who have been laid off.

"Since our December layoff (of 138 workers), we hired back 50 employees,” she said. “This is an agonizing decision for our management team.

“We are not union. Those people are like family.”