Coal Not Cold!!!! Save our Coal!!!!!
This is a report from 2013 of a Campaign by the TUC and the NUM to reinstate concessionary fuel rights following the liquidation of UK Coal. The report describes the debates in Parliament, and actions taken at the time, to restore the lost concessionary fuel rights.
“A very big thank you to our local MP Alan Meale:- Alan organised an adjournment debate in the house of Commons on behalf of all miners working and retired who had lost their concessionary coal or who were in receipt of cash in lieu.
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The debate was non party political as there were MPs from Labour, Tories and Lib Dems, all the MPs spoke in favour of restoring the concessionary fuel rights which had been lost when UK Coal had gone into voluntary liquidation, the MPs who took part in the debate were:- Heather Wheeler MP, Mark Spencer MP, Marcus Jones MP, Nigel Adams MP, Ian Lavery MP, John Mann MP, Kevin Barron MP, Tom Greatrex MP ( Tom began by saying he was not related to a certain other criminal individual) Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Michael Fallon MP Minister for Energy and Climate Change and also Jimmy Hood MP who was in attendance but did not speak in the debate and of course Sir Alan Meale MP.
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It was Francis O’Grady General Secretary of the TUC who first instigated a meeting with Union Officials from the NUM, NACODS and BACM with Michael Fallon MP Energy Minister. There were numerous other meetings and conference calls between the Unions and DECC culminating in the Chancellor of the Exchequer announcing on a visit to Thoresby Colliery that they had agreed to reinstate the concessionary fuel for all men who had worked under privatisation.
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After this historic announcement the Union met again with the Officials of DECC and got them to agree to back date the concessionary fuel entitlement to the day that UK Coal had gone into Liquidation so no one will lose any of their entitlement. As a result of this victory no pensioner who is in receipt of concessionary coal will die from cold this winter.
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A big thank you to John Mann MP;- for helping to get some of our members concessionary coal reinstated. As you can see from the photo’s above a picket line was put on the UK Coal headquarters at Harworth Park . The Chairman remarked that it was freezing on that morning and it brought back a lot of memories, as no one stopped as they were going into work.
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On 9th July 2013 UK Coal went into liquidation the consequence of this was that men who had worked under privatisation lost their concessionary fuel or cash in lieu. The pension fund the IWMPS was placed in the PPF, this has meant that anyone under 60 will lose 10% of their pension and widows in the future will have their pension reduced from two thirds to 50%. Quite a blow for a lot of pensioners.
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It is beyond belief that a company can go into voluntary liquidation one day and off load all its debts and liabilities and then the very next day start up as a new company with a new name and run the same company it ran into the ground, it certainly gives you no confidence in this particular management team.”