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English coal miners wait for redundancy letters

World Coal,


UK miners have been laid off by UK Coal ahead of a closure of two of the last remaining underground coal mines in England at Thoresby and Kellingley.

Over 300 UK Coal staff have been sent redundancy letters, according to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

The NUM said 57 letters have been posted to Kellingley workers and about 270 letters sent to Thorseby workers.

UK Coal is yet to comment on the claims.

Chris Kitchen, general secretary of the NUM, said: "I can't see it's in anybody's interests to issue redundancy notices to anybody today, given that the company don't even know if they've got the financing in place for their 18-month closure plan."

There are 713 people employed at Kellingley and just over 500 at Thoresby.

If the two sites close, it will leave employee-owned Hatfield coal mine in South Yorkshire as Britain’s last remaining underground coal mine.

The NUM has mooted the idea of an employee buyout of Kellingley.

Kitchen said: "Given that the pits are performing better than expected, these redundancies could be put on hold, which would give a better chance of a rescue package being put together - whether it's an employee buyout or state aid."

Meanwhile, 300 miners will face an anxious wait to see if their redundancy letters arrive from the recently privatised Royal Mail.

Alan Spencer, general secretary of the NUM for Nottinghamshire, said “"They [the workers] are just waiting for the postman to come and for these letters to drop on their doorstep.

It's a terrible situation when you don't know if you are going to be finishing tomorrow, especially when there's coal underground and it could be made profitable.”

Written by Sam Dodson

Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/coal/30052014/english_miners_laid_off_916/


 

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