On 1 August, Bluestone Resources Inc. announced the purchase of the ERP Compliant Coke LLC plant in Birmingham (Alabama). Bluestone is owned by the Justice family and is led by Jay Justice, son of West Virginia Governor Jim Justice.
The plant, which was in danger of closure, employs 210 workers, the majority of whom are members of the United Steelworkers of America. The facility produces high quality metallurgical coke, a key component in the operation of foundries, blast furnaces and the production of metals such as iron and steel.
The plant will celebrate its centennial anniversary next year and is an important economic driver in the community.
"This deal is a great development, not only for Bluestone and our great West Virginia employees, but also for the people of Alabama and the more than 200 women and men who work at the plant every day. I'm really pleased that we were able to come in and preserve it for years to come," said Jay Justice. "I've had the pleasure of getting to know some of the people who work at the plant. They're great, hardworking people, and I couldn't be prouder to lend our name to their operation. At a time when other coal mining companies are filing for bankruptcy, we're employing hundreds and putting people back to work."
"Our workers are thrilled," said Plant Manager Bill Potter. "To be clear, this plant would have closed soon due to a dwindling coal inventory and inoperable ovens that are necessary to manufacture coke. With Bluestone stepping up to the plate, we can sustain our coal inventory and repair the ovens – adding about 40 more jobs. It's truly a blessing to be able to continue supporting our great employees and provide new opportunities for more Alabamans."
Lonnie McDaniel, President of Local Union Number 12014 of the United Steelworkers of America, echoed the sentiments of Justice and Potter, "On behalf of the United Steelworkers of America, I want to commend Bluestone Resources and ERP Compliant Coke for working in earnest to find a solution to protect these jobs. It's important to note that it's not just the great people who work here that will benefit, but also the surrounding businesses and the entire community."
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/coal/02082019/bluestone-resources-supports-hundreds-of-jobs-through-birmingham-coke-plant-purchase/