West Yorkshire MPs join fight to support miners

Kellingley Colliery
Kellingley Colliery
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The fight for better redundancy pay for Britain’s last coal miners has seen 39 MPs across the country rally together to write to the Government.

Labour politicians representing coal mining communities want the Government to ensure miners at Kellingley get an enhanced pay-out.

When the last shift finishes on Friday, it will be the end of an era for the British coal industry, as Kellingley is the country’s last remaining deep pit.

The miners are expected to get statutory redundancy pay but this is a financial pay-out worse than miners got under Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, Labour MP Yvette Cooper has said.

In a letter penned to Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, and Sajid Javid, Business Secretary, the group of MPs are asking for the Government to work “urgently” with UK Coal to make give a fair deal to ‘the last British miners’.

The letter said: “The Kellingley miners have done their bit to save the Government money, and stayed loyal to the coal industry and their communities to the very end.

“The very least you can do now is show them the respect they and the coalfields deserve and give them a fair deal now.”

While UK Coal has said it will give Kellingley staff severance pay.

However,there is uncertainty around the coal concessionary deal that the National Union of Miners had expected would help staff aged under 50-years-old, or those getting temporary work.

The deal ensures a free delivery of coal for ex-pit workers, or a cash lump sum instead.

Among the MPs to sign the letter are: Yvette Cooper, Normanton and Castleford; Jon Trickett, Hemsworth; Mary Creagh, Wakefield; Jo Cox, Batley and Spen