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Ministers urged to fund future for pit

Kellingley Colliery. Nearly 80% of the workforce have voted to accept the phased closure of the mine over the next 18 months.
L to R) Chris Kitchen - General Secretary NUM, Keith Poulson - Branch Secretary Kellingley and Keith Hartshorne - Branch Delegate Kellingley.
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Kellingley Colliery. Nearly 80% of the workforce have voted to accept the phased closure of the mine over the next 18 months. L to R) Chris Kitchen - General Secretary NUM, Keith Poulson - Branch Secretary Kellingley and Keith Hartshorne - Branch Delegate Kellingley. p301a416

Unions at troubled Kellingley Colliery have written to government ministers urging them to secure a long-term future for the pit.

UK Coal - backed by £20m of investment from the government and private sector - plans to close Kellingley, with the loss of 700 jobs, by December 2015.

But a report published on behalf of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) claims the deal would cost the government a total of £75 through loss of income tax and costs in unemployment benefits.

Instead, the unions urged the government to apply for European Union state aid, which they claim would keep Kellingley - and under-threat Thoresby Colliery in Nottinghamshire – open until at least 2018.

Chris Kitchen, NUM general secretary, said: “I’m hoping the government will listen to us that’s why we’ve spent so much money on the report.

“It’s a Conservative-led coalition government, with a Conservative energy minister, and there’s obviously a lot of history between miners and the Conservatives.

“But this report has been done by an independent consultant and it proves it would be more beneficial to fund a longer-term future.”

Andrew Mackintosh, UK Coal’s director of communications, said the firm was still working on preventing an immediate closure of Kellingley.

 

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