The National Officials and NEC members wish all our members Past and Present A Happy Safe and Prosperous NEW YEAR.
2011 looks set to be a difficult year given the situation that most of the mining firms find themselves in, although the NUM will continue to represent the interests of our members still working in the industry. With regard to the MPS the Union will continue to raise where ever possible the injustice of how our members have been treated with the objective of gaining a fair deal and continue to safeguard the benefits our members are entitled to in both the MPS and IWMPS.
The NUM welcome the announcement that he does not intend to change the law to make it easy for pension schemes’ to end RPI indexation where their rules require it and that schemes should consult members about changes to indexation. The NUM has been against any challenge to change the rules of both the Mineworkers Pension Scheme (MPS) and its successor scheme the Industry Wide Mineworkers Pension Scheme (IWMPS) rules to link pension increases to CPI as opposed to RPI as our rule provide for. The impact of this change would have been to reduce benefits for our members.
The NUM will continue to guard against any attempt by the ConDem government to reduce the benefits our members have worked hard for and deserve.
Fri, 10 Dec 2010
KPMG administrators called in at mining business
Powerfuel, which owns Hatfield Colliery, has fallen into administration after failing to raise enough cash to undertake upgrade and expansion plans.
The firm, which employs 380 people, needed to raise £635 million to develop the UK’s first clean coal plant. It also required £30 million to carry out upgrade works to the Hatfield mine. KPMG has been called in as administrators for the firm, and is hoping to secure a buyer to protect the jobs at the mine and the clean coal works.
The financial problems arose after the 51 per cent shareholders, Russia’s second largest coal firm KRU, decided it could not afford to put any more funding into the business.
The business planned to develop the £800 million clean coal plant after using a £164 million of European Union funding to carry out carbon capture and storage technology development work. However, it failed to raise the rest of the money needed to complete the project.
KPMG administrator Richard Fleming explained, "The central goal of the administration is to sell the share capital of the mining and carbon capture and storage (CCS) development project which sits in Powerfuel, the parent company."
"The day-to-day business of both Powerfuel Mining and Powerfuel Power will not be affected by the sales process,"
The National Union of Mineworkers will be seeking a meeting with the administrators as a matter of urgency to ensure the future employment of our members at the Colliery.
The National Union of Mineworkers UK wish to express our hart felt sympathies to the families, friends and colleagues of the Pike River Colliery Disaster.
Mining has always been a dangerous job and coal mining with the added danger of methane gas is more dangerous than most.
Miners deserve the best possible in training and safety and even with the lessons of the past and the expertise that has been built up over decades things still can go wrong with disastrous consequences.
Chile's Pinera to protect mine safety whistleblowers.
Sebastian Pinera tells BBC's HARDtalk his country will never be the same again, Chile's President Sebastian Pinera has vowed to protect workers who draw attention to unsafe work practices.
Speaking to BBC's HARDtalk programme, Mr Pinera said Chile would do "whatever is necessary to have a more secure mining industry". Mr Pinera, whose international profile has been boosted by the dramatic rescue of 33 miners, is currently in London.
He will later meet the Queen and Prime Minister David Cameron and present them with rocks taken from inside the mine.
He told the BBC's HARDtalk programme that during the 17 days before the miners were located in the shelter 700m (2,300ft) underground, he had always believed they would be rescued. "I had a kind of inner voice that told me all the time they are alive," he said. When asked if the rescue had been a miracle, Mr Pinera said he believed it was "not only human effort" that had achieved the end result. "I won't say it was a miracle, but I will say that we got some very important help," he said.
'Fear culture over'
The men were trapped in the San Jose gold and copper mine by a rockfall on 5 August. Mr Pinera placed the blame for the accident on the mine's owners, saying they had failed to follow regulations. But he said the government also "might have been negligent in the sense that it didn't make sure the regulations were being fulfilled".
The San Esteban mining firm - which is close to being declared bankrupt because of the cost of the rescue - has previously denied accusations that it ignored safety guidelines.
There has also been criticism from some of the mine workers that there was a culture of fear at the pit, with miners unwilling to speak out over safety concerns because they were afraid of losing their jobs. Trade unions have been pressing Mr Pinera to ratify International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 176, which commits governments to enforcing safety regulations and offering protection for any miner who raises safety concerns.
This was called for by the National Union of Mineworkers at this years TUC in Manchester in their Emergency Motion on the trapped Chilean Miners which was fully supported by congress.
Mr Pinera said his country would ratify the convention and that if there was a culture of fear it was over. "We have initiated a country effort to create a new treatment in terms of how to protect the lives, integrity, dignity and health of our workers," he said. "If we want to be a developed country, we need to develop first world standards."
He said the government "cannot guarantee that we will not have accidents in the future, but we can guarantee that we will do whatever is necessary to have a more secure mining industry".
Mr Pinera rejected criticisms of his leadership style from some government colleagues, and suggestions that he was unfairly capitalising on the rescue for his own political gain. He said he had been involved in the operation even before the miners were found to be alive and that "a real leader has to be hands on, committed, with passion".
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