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Komatsu lays off 40 at Duffield plant

Mike Still • Jan 31, 2020 at 8:30 PM

DUFFIELD — Komatsu is laying off about 40 employees from its Scott County facility.

Komatsu spokesperson Caley Clinton on Friday said in a statement that “in the face of challenging coal market conditions,” approximately 40 workers at the plant in the Duffield Industrial Park were told this week of the personnel cuts.

The plant parking lot was still full of employee vehicles Friday, and staff directed questions to Komatsu’s corporate headquarters.

Clinton said the company was “working closely with employees to support them during the process.”

Scott County Economic Development Authority Executive Director John Kilgore and Chairman Roger Fraysier both declined Friday to comment on the layoffs.

Clinton did not respond to questions emailed to her by the Kingsport Times News, including:

— How many employees are at the Duffield plant?

— What services are being offered to laid-off employees?

— Are the layoffs permanent?

— Will the plant remain open?

“Letting valued employees go is never an easy decision to make,” Komatsu Underground Mining President Peter Salditt said in a statement Friday. “We are doing everything we can to help our employees manage this difficult news.”

In addition to the Duffield facility, Komatsu operates three other underground mining support sites in Southwest Virginia: Norton, Bluefield and Abingdon.

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