Former Kellingley colliery miners win payout fight

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Kellingley Colliery
Image caption,
Kellingley Colliery, Britain's last deep coal mine, closed in December 2015

Miners made redundant through the closure of Kellingley colliery are to receive additional payments.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said 549 miners would receive eight weeks' back pay of up to £3,800 each.

The union claimed miners at the North Yorkshire pit, which closed in 2015, received smaller payouts than workers at Thoresby in Nottinghamshire.

It successfully argued the closure of the two pits had been the same and therefore payouts should be similar.

Miners at Thoresby, which closed in July 2015, were granted a "protective award" when UK Coal, the mine's owner, and the government accepted the mine was closed without proper consultation with workers.

The union successfully argued before an industrial tribunal in Sheffield the same circumstances applied to the closure of Kellingley six months later, yet there was no agreement to provide the same level of financial support to workers.

An NUM spokesman said it was "money the men were entitled to and shouldn't have had to fight for".

Yvette Cooper, the Labour MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford, whose constituency includes Kellingley, said: "This tribunal judgement proves that the government's decision to deny the Kellingley miners the same support as the Thoresby miners was an outrage and a betrayal of the Yorkshire miners who kept working until the very end."

A Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy spokesperson said: "We accept the tribunal's overall ruling as we continue to manage coal legacies in the UK."

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