Ex-Coal Mogul Gives $1M To Miners Whose Paychecks Bounced

A former coal baron is donating $1-million to miners protesting in Kentucky after their employer went bankrupt and their paychecks bounced.

Ex-Cumberland Resources Ltd. founder Richard Gilliamsaid he will give $2 000 apiece to 508 workers waiting to be paid by Blackjewel. Gilliam, who started a charitable foundation with his late wife in 2010 after selling Cumberland, said in an emailed statement that he hopes the money “will act as a bridge” for the miners until they’re paid.

It’s the latest in a string of breaks for the miners, who for more than a week have blocked tracks near Cumberland, Kentucky, to prevent a train load of coal from leaving a Blackjewel mine. On Monday, the company said it would set aside revenue until the workers are paid. Last week, Peabody Energy, the largest US miner, said it had hired 30 of them.