The announcement yesterday that the Board of Hargreaves have decided to mothball the colliery is devastating news for the 542 employees and their families. Hargreaves has agreed to pay enhanced redundancy terms which was due to expire at the end of December.
Efforts will now be focused on mothballing the colliery safely and retaining as many jobs as possible elsewhere in the Hargreaves group including Hatfield Colliery which they manage.
The closure of Maltby Colliery is also a savage blow to what remains of the British Coal Mining industry and the contribution that is made to the security of supply of our Nation’s electricity generation. With up to 50% of our electricity generated from coal we will become reliant on imports and held hostage to escalating international prices, price increases which we will pay through our energy bills.
Why shouldn't Kellingley and Thoresby have remained open into 2018?
In a report prepared for the NUM and TUC "Merits of UK Coal State Aid Application" it is argued that rather than close Kellingley and Thorseby in 2015 they could remain open until 2018. Other EU member states have and still are benefiting from the fund whilst making a case for extended funding.
"It can be seen that our European competitors are taking a strategic decision to support their coal industry during managed wind down of uncompetitive coal mines, and are providing substantial sums under European State Aid regulations. As an example, Germany’s closure plans are designed to address the social impact of job losses, and specifically to allow sufficient time to enable direct and indirect supply chains to adjust. To date the UK has made little use of state-aid provisions for the sector, either under the previous regulations or current Closure Aid."
The full report can be read here http://www.num.org.uk/uploads/26/1184.pdf
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