Unite has slammed a ‘despicable new low in employment relations’ as senior management at the Scottish Resources Group (SRG) told workers they would be cutting over 400 coal-mining jobs in sites across the country via PowerPoint presentation.
Distraught workers, many of whom have decades of loyal service, learned of the redundancies through the callous corporate presentation earlier this week, which laid out the job losses and the future of the business in a good news / bad news format.
Coal bosses have criticised a failure to lend by banks in order to sustain the business while also calling for Scottish Government intervention to save this strategically vital sector. However, their attitude towards its workers has left little to be desired.
Last year SRG had tried to impose a 10% cut to jobs and wages across the entire company but was rebuffed by Unite after their consultative approach was widely criticised. Now SRG has told workers the 90 day consultation period ahead of the redundancies has already started.
Unite Regional Industrial Officer Jim Winter said, “The manner in which SRG has notified loyal, hard-working people that their jobs are redundant is totally despicable – a new low for employment relations.
Our members were subjected to the unedifying spectacle of a power point presentation that painted the ‘good news' post-redundancy picture of SRG as a streamlined, profitable business with ‘oven ready’ projects. The ‘bad news’ was that over 400 people would be made redundant in less than 90 days to achieve this.
We’ve known for some time about the difficulty facing the business across Scotland and management are right to highlight the failure of our banks to help sustain this vital industry and its skilled jobs – that’s a wider economic failure of both Government and the banks.
However, SRG should understand that they need to work with trade unions like Unite and our members, not exclude us. We will now do everything we can do to offset job cuts.”
For further information please contact Peter Welsh in the Unite Scotland Campaigns & Communications Unit on 07810157931.
Notes to editors: Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.