30 May 2014
Kellingley and Thoresby collieries
- If the two sites close in 2015, it will leave employee-owned Hatfield Colliery in South Yorkshire as Britain's last remaining deep mine.
- There are 713 people employed at Kellingley Colliery and just over 500 at Thoresby Colliery, the NUM said.
- Of the 57 redundancies at Kellingley Colliery, the union said 43 are mine workers, 10 are officials and four are from management.
- The union said 170 Thoresby mineworkers are being sent redundancy letters, along with about 100 officials, clerical and management staff there
More than 300 staff at two of England's last remaining deep coal mines have been sent redundancy letters ahead of closure of the pits, a union has said.
UK Coal intends to close Kellingley Colliery in North Yorkshire and Thoresby Colliery in Nottinghamshire.
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said redundancy letters were being posted to 57 Kellingley workers and to about 270 Thoresby workers.
UK Coal has not yet commented on the claims.
Chris Kitchen, general secretary of the NUM, said: "I can't see it's in anybody's interests to issue redundancy notices to anybody today, given that the company don't even know if they've got the financing in place for their 18-month closure plan."
The government has offered to loan UK Coal £10m to execute an 18-month "managed closure" of the two mines.
But the NUM is considering an employee buyout of Kellingley Colliery.
Mr Kitchen added: "Given that the pits are performing better than expected, these redundancies could be put on hold, which would give a better chance of a rescue package being put together - whether it's an employee buyout or state aid."
UK Coal has blamed its financial problems on the global market, with falling coal prices, on top of a fire which destroyed, and subsequently closed, its Daw Mill Colliery in Warwickshire.
Alan Spencer, general secretary of the NUM for Nottinghamshire, said: "They [the workers] are just waiting for the postman to come and for these letters to drop on their doorstep.
"It's a terrible situation when you don't know if you are going to be finishing tomorrow, especially when there's coal underground and it could be made profitable."
Kellingley and Thoresby miners urged to accept closure deal
14 April 2014
Two coal mines are likely to close "in the coming days" unless a plan to shut them down in 2015 is accepted by workers, UK Coal has said.
The government has offered UK Coal a £10m loan to allow it to carry out a "managed closure" of Kellingley Colliery in North Yorkshire and Thoresby in Nottinghamshire.
Business minister Michael Fallon said the pits had no long-term future.
The National Union of Mineworkers has called for further talks.
After a meeting of about 250 union members on Sunday, the union said it wanted the government to explore alternative options for keeping the pit as a "going concern".
Kellingley's NUM branch secretary Keith Poulson said many miners would quit before closure in 2015.
"Honestly, I can't see how you can have a workforce that's going to be committed to a programme that's eventually going to put them on the dole," he said.
"I can't see anybody who is human that can actually sign up to a deal to do that."
2,000 job losses
A spokesman for UK Coal said: "A show of hands [at the meeting] indicated a reluctance to accept the managed closure deal, but this was not an official vote.
"Further discussions will now take place to fully understand the views of all NUM members, as UK Coal seeks to finalise a £20m investment package for an 18-month closure programme.
"Without this deal, the business is likely to enter insolvency in the coming days."
The company said that would lead to about 2,000 job losses.
Nigel Adams, Conservative MP for Selby and Ainsty, said he was concerned the union's position could "speed up the closure on the mine".
"By rejecting this offer, the company UK Coal may end up calling in receivers, it could be as early as today, and the business closed and people thrown out of work straight away," he said.