D-Day for Parkside

Battle-weary miners at Newton's Parkside Colliery have accused British Coal of putting a 'gun to the head' of the 500-man workforce.

This follows an ultimatum which states that redundancy notices must be signed by 5.00pm today, Friday.

Failure to sign by the deadline would leave miners outside the covering court judgement which guarantees redundancy payments. This would mean 'serious disadvantaged' pay-off settlements for the miners.

The 'ultimatum' follows the High Court decision which ruled that British Coal had met tall the criteria required to close Parkside.

Care and maintenance work has continued at the Winwick Road site this week, despite a four-day 260 feet protest by four women from the Lancashire Women
Against pit Closures Camp during the weekend.

Officials have maintained, however, that Parkside will effectively shut and be handed over to the mercy of an un-named private contractor today.

Parkside Colliery's NUM President, Tommy Meadows, told the Newton and Golborne Guardian: "The men are very disillusioned. They just do not know what to do.

"British Coal has given the men no choice. It has put a gun to their heads.

If they do not sign they do not get the money, and people have lost a lot of money already - sitting at home and not being able to work."

The NUM has attacked the situation which it believes has been turned into a compulsory rather than as British Coal described, 'voluntary', redundancies.

Mr Meadows added: "It is being described as voluntary redundancies, but if we do not sign by Friday, we do not come under the protection of the judge. How can they be voluntary?

Download PDF Vesion