Unite, the UK's largest union, is demanding action in the ‘national interest’ by the Scottish Government to support Scottish Coal and save the six open cast in East Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire and Fife.
Scottish Coal has been placed in administration on Friday by its directors making 590 direct jobs redundant. The Alloa-based company owes its origins to the 1994 privatisation of British Coal.
Scottish Coal is part of the Scottish Resources Group which announced last month that 450 staff were being put on notice of redundancy. A subsidiary company, Castlebridge Plant Limited (CPL), has also been placed in administration.
Unite believes that the Scottish Government should not accept the decision by the Scottish Coal directors to place the company into administration and proactive measures including setting up a task-group involving trade unions must be taken to save the 590 jobs which are of strategic interest to the Scottish economy.
Unite Scottish Secretary Pat Rafferty said:
“We are talking about a workforce that is in our national interest as coal production still represents a significant contribution to Scotland’s energy supply helping to ensure a balanced energy policy.
“On the week of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral Scotland will lose its last domestically owned coal company if the Scottish Government feebly accepts the decision by Scottish Coal’s directors. So measures must be taken immediately including investment and grants by the Scottish Government to ensure the viability of the open cast mines.
"Scotland’s coal industry is as important to our energy supply as renewables and it must be given the same level of support. We stand ready to assist in those efforts so we can make sure the policies of Thatcherism do not erase coal production from Scotland's economy.”
For information contact Unite industrial officer Jim Winter on 07739 654856.