Kellingley Colliery’s fate rests in hands of miners

Kellingley CollieryKellingley Colliery
Kellingley Colliery
Workers at Kellingley Colliery are being balloted on whether to accept the pit’s ‘managed closure’.

Energy minister Michael Fallon announced that a £10m state loan, alongside £10m from the private sector, would support the closure of the pit, which employs 700 workers, along with another at Thoresby, in Nottinghamshire, which employs 1,300 people.

The deal would see gradual job losses over an 18 month period, with both sites closing by the end of December 2015.

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But the NUM indicated it would reject the offer at a meeting on Sunday, leading to fears the pit could close imminently.

Now, UK Coal, which runs the pit, has written to workers at the site asking whether they will accept the deal.

Gordon Grant, communications manager, said: “There was a show of hands at a union meeting but that wasn’t an official vote so we need to get the workers’ views on the situation.

“Time is running out and we need to do this quickly because if we have not got the support then Kellingley will close. The workers have to let us know if they are prepared to support the plan to close the pit gradually over the next 18 months and if they aren’t, they’re absolutely clear of the consequences.”

Workers have until noon on Tuesday, April 22 to return their ballot papers.