THE government and mining profiteer UK Coal have “betrayed and let down” Britain’s last deep coalminers at a Yorkshire colliery, the Commons heard last night.
Labour MP Yvette Cooper, whose constituency includes the community of Knottingley, near Kellingley colliery, demanded assurances that its miners would get decent redundancy payments and pensions.
The National Union of Mineworkers told the Morning Star that the final shifts at the pit were being worked because the coal produced would help fund redundancy payments.
But UK Coal has failed to guarantee the levels of the payments and Ms Cooper said the miners were being kicked in the teeth.
“The men who have kept the coal industry going until the very end have been badly let down by the failure to offer full redundancy pay, by the lack of any guarantee over severance pay, cuts to their pensions and by the concessionary coal deal,” she blasted.
Concessionary coal is a fuel allowance permitting miners to use a fraction of the coal they produce to heat their homes.
Ms Cooper called for government guarantees on the same redundancy payments paid out during the Tories’ butchery of the mining industry in the 1980s and 1990s, training for redundant miners and help for former mining communities.
“Kellingley miners have pulled out all the stops to keep UK Coal going and to save the government money too. But what have they had in return? It feels more like a kick in the teeth,” she said.