Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

First My Steel Job Went and Now Family Faces Boulby Blow

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

First My Steel Job Went and Now Family Faces Boulby Blow

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Blackburn Senior Reporter

SSI WORKER David Connor is still reeling from losing his job - now his partner and stepson have been told their own jobs at Boulby mine are at risk.

The devastated Ingleby Barwick family said Christmas has been "put on hold" and they are even considering leaving the country to find work.

To make ends meet David has already sold his car and beloved motorbike and the couple are trying to sell their home.

Long-term partner Suzanne McLean, 49, an occupational health nurse at Boulby potash mine, and her son Robert, a miner there, now face an agonising wait to hear if their jobs are safe.

Mine owner ICL UK - formerly Cleveland Potash - announced on Thursday up to 700 of its 1,100 workers could go by 2018.

But David and his family are not sitting around waiting for the axe to fall and are already preparing for the worst - and are pulling together to support each other.

David, who worked at the Redcar steel plant for 14 years, told The Gazette he and Suzanne are now seriously considering relocating to the Isle of Man - and Robert to Australia to find mining work.

David said he has applied for "something over 315 jobs" since being made redundant from SSI. "Anything from manager for Aldi to process operator to working on vans - but a lot of them are being rejected, saying I have too high a skills base for the work," he said.

"I sold my car and then my motorbike so I could have something to live off, with the possibility of retraining."

But then came this week's bombshell news at Boulby mine.

"The kids had all chipped in to send Suzanne and I to Seaham Hall because they know how stressed we are," he said. Now the whole family is facing financial hardship.

Suzanne's 20-year-old daughter Anna has been told she has to support herself financially at university in Leeds, where she is studying sports science.

And David's son, Jamie, 19, who has been seeking an apprenticeship, is now taking on a job at McDonald's to help with the bills. …

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