The television station also reported that Bluefield mayor Donnie Lynkous was not told of the closure. "None of us, nobody, has any idea whatsoever," Lynkous told the station. "And they didn’t tell any of us. They didn’t tell the county, they didn’t tell our economic development director, they didn’t tell management with the town of Bluefield, Virginia. None of us elected officials.”
In a news release, Komatsu said it is adjusting its operations to needed capacity. Work from the Bluefield facility will be shifted to three other locations in the United States. Those will be in Duffield, Virginia; Lebanon, Kentucky; and Homer City, Pennsylvania. Up to 100 people may be affected, according to WVNS.
“These are truly unprecedented times and as a company we have had to adapt as best we can, working to balance capacity to demand,” said Peter Salditt, president of underground mining. “We have a long history in Bluefield and this was a very difficult decision that we are sad to make. The contributions of everyone who worked there, past and present, will always be a proud part of our history and we are working to support affected employees during this difficult time.”
Employees were told about the decision to close the facility earlier this week.