Unite members in Scottish Coal will tell Energy Minister Fergus Ewing this evening (Wednesday 24th April) that it is in the ‘national interest’ for the Scottish Government to reverse the closure of six open-cast mines, saving up to 590 jobs in the process.
The Scottish Government has announced a task group in response to Scottish Coal’s administration last Friday, but Unite has warned that a light-touch strategy to save ‘some of the people who have lost jobs’ will not be sufficient for workers and communities in East Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire and Fife already blighted by high unemployment.
Unite Scottish Secretary Pat Rafferty said, “These mines and jobs can be saved and tonight’s meeting should be the first step of a concerted effort to achieve this objective.
Saving Scottish Coal is firmly in our national interest, producing 25% of our energy supply as part of a balanced strategy it would beggar belief that in this economic climate the Scottish Government would be willing to see jobs, skills and supply decimated.
We shouldn’t have to fight for scraps off the liquidators table as a next step when there are alternatives that must be looked at first. Readily accepting the administration merely fails the workers and communities affected.
Fergus Ewing has committed the Scottish government will do everything it can to secure the continued operation of the business. It can’t act effectively if its starting position is acquiescent to those on the Board of Scottish Coal intent on asset stripping this crucial business.”
Notes to Editors: For further information please Unite Officer for Scottish Coal Jim Winter on 07739 654856 for reaction at the Scottish Parliament or Peter Welsh in Unite Scotland Communications on 07810157931.