Kellingley miners in fight for final payout

Kellingley Colliery. PIC: Simon Hulme
Kellingley Colliery. PIC: Simon Hulme
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Calls are growing for the former Kellingley workers to be given their final payout more than two years after the pit closed.

Thoresby Colliery in Nottinghamshire – the only other remaining deep mine in Britain – closed at a similar time and their workers have since received their cash.

Yet 300 former miners, staff and surface workers from the Yorkshire pit are still waiting for their settlement, despite a court ruling that the payments were owed.

In August last year the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) won a tribunal against UK Coal Kellingley Ltd entitling the workforce to a final payment similar to that received by the Thoresby workforce because UK Coal failed to carry out proper consultation or explore alternatives to keep the pits open.

Yvette Cooper, MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford had added her voice, saying: “The Government gave the extra payments to the Thoresby workforce without a murmur, but they’ve resisted help for Kellingley every step of the way.

“I backed the NUM who rightly fought to get these payments in the first place, and it’s thanks to them that the first payments have been made.

“Everyone knows that the consultation by UK Coal and the government over the closure of Kellingley and Thoresby pits was a sham – and we also know they never properly looked at the investment options that could have kept Kellingley open for longer.

“The Government failed to support the pit and now is failing the workforce – it’s outrageous.

“That’s why I’m demanding a meeting with the Energy Minister and campaigning with the unions to get the whole workforce the support they deserve.”

UK Coal, which ran both Kellingley and Thoresby, announced in 2014 that it had racked up huge debts due to the weak pound and the low price of coal around the world.

The company was then granted a multi-million pound bailout loan from the Government for a staged closure of the pits.

Thoresby closed in July 2015 followed by Kellingley in the December of that year.

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