Redundancy notices issued at region's mines

Hundreds of redundancy notices are to be issued at the region's mines. The NUM say it comes at a time when the mines are performing well

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Redundancy notices at pits a 'grim' development says local MP

The MP for Knottingley has criticised UK Coal for issuing redundancy notices for miners at nearby collieries while work is underway to save the pits.

MP for Knottingley Yvette Cooper
MP for Knottingley Yvette Cooper

Last week unions said they were looking at an employee buyout at Kellingley in North Yorkshire.

Yvette Cooper said: “This is very bad news. UK coal should not be making redundancies while work is underway on serious plans to try to keep the pit open.

“It's really grim for the mine workers and their families who are getting redundancy letters now, and it's really worrying for the rest of the workforce too.

"We have been urging UK coal and the government to work on other options to keep the pit open rather than pursuing their closure plan.

“The NUM have been working on one plan and there are other investors interested too."But if too many mine workers are laid off now, and if new development stops for too long then it will be too late and too costly for anyone to get it going again.

“The danger is that UK coal will make it impossible for any of the long term plans to get off the ground by laying off too many mine workers now.”

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NUM: Redundancies come at time when mines are performing well

Chris Kitchen - the National Miners Union General Secretary - told Calendar the proposed redundancies at mines in our region came at a time when they are "over-performing".

Last week unions said they were looking at an employee buyout at Kellingley in North Yorkshire.

UK Coal announced plans in April to close the colliery, and Thoresby in North Nottinghamshire, with the loss of hundreds of jobs. But redundancy notices are soon to be handed out to workers.

Hundreds of redunancy notices to be handed out at region's mines

Kellingley Colliery in North Yorkshire

Forty three miners at the closure-threatened Kellingley Colliery are to receive redundancy notices - in spite of plans for a workers' buyout of the pit.

15 will be compulsory.

In Thoresby in North Nottinghamshire, 270 miners are to receive notices - with almost a third of these being compulsory.

Earlier this year, owners UK Coal announced the phased shutdown of the pits - with the loss of up to 2,000 jobs by the end of next year.

Last week the NUM asked its 700-strong workforce at Kellingley to consider buying a personal stake in the pit - one of just two deep mines left in Yorkshire.

Miners vote prolongs pit life

Miners at Kellingley Colliery have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a plan to prolong the life of their pit for up to 18 months.

It will also hopefully mean that hundreds of miners at Thoresby colliery in North Nottinghamshire will have some job security for a little while longer.

Owners UK Coal had said both pits could shut within days if miners did not vote in favour of a £20 million phased rundown of the mines.

The NUM says the move will give them more time to mount a concerted campaign to try to keep the pits open. Chris Kiddey reports.

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MP: Government needs to show they want the pits open

The miners at Kellingley and the local community have always wanted to keep the pit open. Now the Government and UK Coal need to show that they want to do the same.

The workforce have made clear they will do everything they can to keep Kellingley open. But this only gives us breathing space. UK Coal and the Government now need to draw up a longer term plan, working with other private investors and Europe to bring in more support.

They need to act fast or it will be too late. A deal to close Kellingley in 2015 isn't good enough. We need fast action before all the development workers are made redundant to deliver a longer term future for the pit.

There are 800 skilled jobs at risk, as well as jobs in companies that rely on contracts with Kellingley. Over 1100 people have signed our petition to save Kellingley already.

Britain will still rely on coal for years to come and clean coal technology is under development at Drax right now. Kellingley still has plenty of reserves, so we don’t need to be entirely dependent on imports - especially from Russia.

It’s still possible to get a deal to secure the long term future of Kellingley and the future of the deep coal industry in Britain, but the Government and the company need to step up and put the work in now to make sure that happens before time runs out.

– Yvette Cooper, MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford

Ballot result due on future of collieries

The result of a ballot which will determine the futures of two collieries - and two thousand jobs at UK Coal - will be known shortly.

Miners at Kellingley colliery have been voting on whether to accept a £20m package which would see a rundown of the pit over 18 months.

If they vote no UK Coal have warned that Kellingley and Thorseby colliery in north Nottinghamshire could shut within days.

We spoke to miners on their way to work at Kellingley today.

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