Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Miners' Leader Fears Last Pit May Be Shut

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Miners' Leader Fears Last Pit May Be Shut

Article excerpt

A miners' leader today accused the owners of the North East's last remaining deep mine of preparing to close it by next September.

Ian Lavery, chairman of the National Union of Mineworkers, has savaged UK Coal over plans to cut by 70 the 416-strong workforce at Ellington Colliery, Northumberland, after Christmas.

He believes the losses signal the beginning of the end and he is outraged over the timing of the announcement which came just days after the company received the offer of multi-million pound grants from the Government.

Mr Lavery believes the Government must now put these grants on hold and order an investigation of UK Coal's plans.

The company has been offered more than pounds 36 million towards the cost of projects at pits all over the country. But crucially for Ellington a bid for pounds 8 million towards the cost of a pounds 13 million scheme to prolong the life of the pit resulted in the offer of just pounds 1 million.

As a result UK Coal has ordered a formal review of the future of the mine and suspended plans to open a new face. …

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