Richard Gilliam is giving coal companies a good name. He did it the old fashion way, with cash. When Massey Energy bought his Abingdon, Virginia, Cumberland Resources coal company, company employees received $80 million of the $960 million sale price. Every employee will receive a bonus of $4,300 for each year of service in addition to a substantial contribution to 401(k) accounts. Cumberland has more than 500 employees in southwest Virginia and across the mountain in southeast Kentucky. The story was first reported by the Tri-City News in Cumberland, Kentucky. (Map above.) We saw the story in The Mountain Eagle in Whitesburg, Kentucky, and in the Bristol (Virginia) Herald Courier.
“Richard Gilliam wanted to express his gratitude to you for your dedication, hard work and commitment to the job for this company,” said Ross Kegan, vice president said, according to an article in the Tri-City News. “Your efforts have made this company a success, and this transaction bonus is a simple way to thank you.”
“Coal operators are sometimes accused of taking the money and the coal out of the hills and leaving,” Kegan said, according to the Tri-City News article. “Richard Gilliam has set a legacy of the opposite by paying it forward.”