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WESTMORELAND REPORTS ORGANIZATION AND PRODUCTION CHANGES, EMPLOYEE REDUCTIONS AND NEW LOWER COST MINING PLANS

 WESTMORELAND REPORTS ORGANIZATION AND PRODUCTION CHANGES, EMPLOYEE
 REDUCTIONS AND NEW LOWER COST MINING PLANS
 PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Westmoreland Coal Company (NYSE: WCX) today announced its "from-the-ground-up" organizational restructuring of the Virginia Division and the related employee reductions, as well as actions it is taking to lower costs in current mining operations and develop new lower cost mines.
 "This restructuring of the Virginia Division and operational changes at certain high cost operations are designed to facilitate the essential improvements needed to first survive and then become competitive. Unfortunately the new structure has 45 fewer salaried positions. Approximately 120 positions are also being eliminated at certain high cost production sections in the mines, but through the hard work of management and labor leaders, potentially lower cost operations have been planned and developed which may absorb most of the production personnel if production is cost effective. These actions are being taken for two reasons. The most apparent is that the Division lost approximately $4.5 million through August of 1992, following losses of approximately $12 million in 1991. The second is Westmoreland's commitment to positive change that will make the enterprise and the employees successful" stated Christopher K. Seglem, president and chief operating officer of Westmoreland.
 "The new organization," he continued, "is founded on the principles of Total Quality Management, to maximize the contribution of all employees to the needs of the business and its customers and through opportunities for greater participation and responsibility by those employees closest to the critical work that needs to be performed for this organization to survive in the competitive world.
 The senior management of this Division has completed a zero based operations plan and designed an organizational structure that is streamlined and assures that the support functions to our primary business, which is mining coal, are physically and organizationally close to the mines and serve the business units needs every minute of every day.
 Virginia Division Organization
 As of today the Virginia Division will be comprised of three major business components, each one of them led by a general manager reporting to senior vice president-operations, Ronald Stucki. Each business group has the primary staff functions of health & safety, human resources, mining engineering, material management and controller located at the office of the business group and in the case of the mining operations, close to the mines. A new corporate unit will be charged with providing technical services and support to the three primary operations units on a cost-competitive basis.
 More specifically the units are:
 -- An East Mining Unit headed by General Manager Dick Conkle that will consist of the Bullitt Mine, the Wentz Mine, the West Fork Mine and the Beechwood Mine as well as the coal reserves and property located in the vicinity of those operations owned or leased by Westmoreland. Also, the miners currently operated for the company by independent contractors are included in the East Mining Unit.
 -- A West Mining Unit headed by General Manager Jerry Light that will consist of the Holton Mine, the Pierrepont Mine and the Holton Lowsplint Mine (which is in the process of being prepared for the beginning of operations) as well as the coal reserves and property in the vicinity of those operations owned or leased by Westmoreland.
 -- A Preparation, Distribution and Shop Unit headed by General Manager Mike Odle will consist of the Bullit Preparation Plant, the Transloader, the Wentz Preparation Plant, the coal quality, traffic and distribution functions, the dump train and all of the central shop services.
 -- The Technical Services Unit, headed by General Manager Eric Fritz, will provide geological, surveying, drafting, reserve analysis, purchasing , material management assistance and other technical support services at competitive costs to the three operational units including the new lower cost mine planning work.
 Cost Reductions At Existing Mines
 Due to the huge financial losses at company mines, the Holton and Bullit Mines will be stopping the operation of those mining sections that are highest cost at Bullit and a section at the Holton Mine that has completed development work. It appears this will result in a real reduction of positions at those mines of approximately 40 people by November, rather than the nearly 120 positions possible had a joint planning process not been undertaken. The people from the section at the Holton Mine will be transferred to a new mine called the Holton Lowsplint, which the company anticipates can produce coal at a lower cost. People at Bullitt have been assigned to the 4 Left continuous miner section and others from Bullitt may later have an opportunity for employment at the Pierrepont Mine. All mining operations are expected to achieve lower production costs.
 New Mine Planning
 The lower cost mining units of Westmoreland's Virginia Division have been identified and planned by a task force that joined management and the United Mine Workers elected leadership in a cooperative effort focused on the development of its reserves. The Virginia Mine Planning Task Force has focused its energy on planning new mines that can meet two objectives:
 1. Be competitive in today's market, where the price per ton is between $19 and $23.
 2. Be opened in time to employ Virginia Division employees working in mines with depleted or high-cost reserves and contribute to the growth of the Division. Two of the operations planned by this group are the Holton Lowsplint, which will go into production later this month, and the experimental section currently operating in the Bullitt 4 Left section.
 -0- 10/2/92
 /CONTACT: Steve Anderson for Westmoreland Coal, 215-545-2500/
 (WCX) CO: Westmoreland Coal Company ST: Pennsylvania IN: OIL SU:


TM-KW -- NY075 -- 6273 10/02/92 19:43 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 2, 1992
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