Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/807/18479
Pit closures: Final act of Tory vandalism
30 years after the historic miners' strike against pit closures, the Tories are presiding over the axing of two of the last three deep mine coal pits in Britain.
Some 1,300 jobs will be axed in the closure programme which comes only nine months after a 'rescue' from administration.
In a final act of industrial vandalism the privatised UK Coal company is shutting Kellingley colliery in North Yorkshire and Thoresby, Nottinghamshire, and selling off six surface mines.
The only remaining deep mine colliery will be the workers' cooperative at Hatfield, South Yorkshire. At the time of the 1984-85 strike there were around 200 pits.
Yet millions of tonnes of coal are imported each year to keep the UK's electricity power stations running.
Energy minister Michael Fallon said: "The taxpayer is better served by supporting a managed closure of the mines." To assist this "managed closure" the Con-Dem government is loaning UK Coal £10 million.
Labour MP Dennis Skinner pointed out in the Commons that the government had, in February, taken £700 million out of miners' pension scheme.
A civil war without guns
by Ken Smith
£8 (postage included)
The Socialist Party's history of the 1984-85 miners' strike, A Civil War Without Guns, by Ken Smith, has been reprinted with a new introduction for the 30th anniversary of this colossal struggle.
Available from Socialist Books, PO Box 24697, London E11 1YD
020 8988 8789 www.socialistbooks.org.uk
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In The Socialist 16 April 2014:
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