Closure Support In Poland

Why did UK Government say that they could not do anything for our coal industry? Poland have shown what could be done.

European Commission – Daily News

Daily News 08 / 02 / 2018

State aid: Commission approves PLN 5 billion Polish support for closing coal mines

The European Commission has found amendments to Poland’s plans to provide public support of PLN 5 billion (approximately €1.25 billion) to alleviate the social and environmental impact of closing uncompetitive coal mines by 2018 to be in line with EU State aid rules. The Commission concluded that potential competition distortions are limitedas a result of the support. The Commission had already approved Polish support for the closure of uncompetitive coal mines in November 2016. In line with EU State aid rules, and in particular Council Decision 2010/787/EU on State aid to facilitate the closure of uncompetitive coal mines, the Commission found that the aid will ease the closure process by providing financial support to workers who have lost, or will lose, their jobs due to the closure of the mines. In particular, the state support will fund severance payments, compensatory pensions and social security benefits for these workers until 2023. Furthermore, it will be used to secure mine shafts and decommissioning of mine infrastructure, repair damage to the environment caused by mining and re-cultivate land after the mine closures. More information will be available on the Commission’s competition website, in the State Aid Register under the case number SA.46891. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Sarantopoulou – Tel.: +32 229 13740)

What goes on in Poland on the 17th of April.

Naimski: Poland will not switch to gas. There will be coal and atom

The plenipotentiary for strategic energy infrastructure has announced that coal will maintain a prominent position in the energy strategy of the Republic of Poland, which the government is now announcing at the end of 2018.

– Whatever what are the climatic, technological and other arguments, this fact is inalienable. It just is. Yes, we have natural gas and it’s good that we have more of it. Nevertheless, it does not seem after the first failure when it comes to Polish shale gas, so that we can rely our energy on our own gas. Why should we base our security on imports if we can base them on our own resources? – the conference participant asked.

– This determines our strategy in the field of energy policy. With all the practical aspects of access to gas, we will not base the Polish power industry on gas. That would be irrational. In Poland, we have a fairly low share of gas in primary energy. You can increase it, but there is no reason to do it – Piotr Naimski argued.

– Energy-based gas blocks are needed that will be regulatory in nature – he admitted. – When we diversify deliveries, we will be able to choose the raw materials on which we will base our energy and we will probably build one, two, maybe three gas blocks. Then it will only be a rational action.

– We will try to keep the energy produced from coal in accordance with technological requirements, but also climate policy, and at the same time we will want the coal to remain. In the strategy we are developing, coal has its place – the minister said. In his opinion, it is possible to forecast 30 years ahead, ie until the fifth decade of this century. – Our calculations show that almost half of the energy will be produced from coal – he added.


The headlines almost 12 months ago were “Britain goes without coal for the first time ‘since Industrial Revolution'”.
12 months on and when the cold started to bite, can anyone tell us the last day that if coal was not burned to generate electricity the lights would not have gone out?
Total coal imports in the third quarter of 2017 were 1.9 million tonnes, 9.9 per cent higher than in the same period in 2016.
Imports of steam coal fell 5.4 per cent in the third quarter of 2017 compared to a year earlier. Russia was the highest supplier of steam coal imports with 50 per cent. The second highest supplier was the USA with 27 per cent, followed by Colombia with 8 per cent.
Coking coal imports rose by 42 per cent to 0.8 million tonnes in the third quarter of 2017 compared to the third quarter of 2016. The USA (33 per cent), Australia (32 per cent) and Russia (30 per cent) represented 95 per cent of coking coal imports.


And All That Gas

The government says less than 1 percent of UK supplies come from Russia, but critics point out this still exposes consumers when supplies are tight, and Britain must bid with the rest of Europe (who rely on a third of its gas from Russia) for piped gas and with the rest of the world for LNG. It is probably fair to say that without gas from Russia the UK would have experienced power cuts this month and certainly without Russian coal the lights would have gone out.
The case for an indigenous coal industry with Carbon Capture Usage and Storage as a strategic requirement for the UK is plain to see.
How many more risks do the UK take before ‘Boom Out Go The Lights’.

Mineworkers Pension Scheme ERRORS

Mineworkers Pension Scheme

We have been informed that an error has occurred that has resulted in a number of MPS members mistakenly being issued with new tax codes.

We are told that this is being rectified as a matter of the highest priority by Capita and HMRC. Affected members will be contacted shortly to advise them that neither their original tax codes nor their pension payments should be affected, and that their tax liabilities are completely unchanged. In the meantime Capita are dealing with any member enquiries.

0333 222 0077


By MikkTooming (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council recommended that the condition known as Dupuytren’s Contracture should be Prescribed as an Industrial Disease. The government have rejected this advice saying, “Only after full consideration of the impact is the Secretary of State in a position to decide whether to accept or reject a recommendation from IIAC and to agree to amend the prescribed diseases legislation.”

“The recommendation has been carefully considered but it has been decided not to add Dupuytren’s contracture to the list of prescribed diseases.”

The ‘impact’ for those suffering from the condition, brought about because of their employment, is disability. The government go on to give the reason “The Government currently spends £900 million a year supporting people with disabilities and health conditions through Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit. It wants to continue to help as many people as possible, and ensure that it is targeting support to those with the greatest needs.”

NUM Secretary Chris Kitchen

So, the ‘target’ does not include accepting evidence that Dupuytren’s Contracture should be Prescribed as an Industrial Disease.

The Report by the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council in accordance with Section 171 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 considering prescription for Dupuytren’s contracture in workers exposed to hand-transmitted vibration was presented to Parliament in May 2014.

NUM Secretary Chris Kitchen said ‘The NUM have always demanded that the IIAC report be accepted but now after almost FOUR years since the report was published and despite the many requests, the government have finally decided to let people know that those suffering from a condition clearly caused by their employment cannot claim for it as an industrial disease, despite evidence to say it is. This once again shows contempt for the working person. Governments bailed out the banks to the tune of £850 BILLION tell us that £900 MILLION is targeting those with the greatest needs is as grotesque as it is insulting. The NUM will continue to campaign for this condition to be prescribed as an industrial disease.’

National Union of Mineworkers -v- Organisation International de L’Energie et des Mines (IEMO)

The NUM has issued proceedings in the High Court against IEMO. In this action the union is seeking the recovery of capital and legal costs incurred by the NUM in previous litigation against the former CEO of the union, Roger Windsor. It is alleged that this money is held by IEMO who conducted the litigation against Windsor in France. The union funded that litigation and maintains that it is entitled to be repaid the costs incurred from the sums recovered by IEMO.

At a hearing in Manchester on 30th January 2018 IEMO made an application to strike out the union’s claim on the grounds that it is out of time and also subject to an agreement made in 1990 when, it was alleged, the NUM agreed not to take any legal action against IEMO.

IEMO was represented at the hearing by the former President of the NUM, Mr. Arthur Scargill.

The arguments raised by IEMO were rejected by the court and the application to strike out was denied. The court awarded substantial legal costs to the NUM and the case will now continue to a trial on a date to be fixed.

Further reports on this case will follow on this site.

Dirty Old Tricks

The NUM continue to explore every avenue in relation to the historic injustice that miners’ endure in relation to pneumoconiosis. First it was the x-ray and ‘no significant change’ then it was put down to ‘emphysema and smoking’ and now without prescription the DWP have introduced breathing tests that have nothing to do with pneumoconiosis in order to reduce benefits. It is a scandal that medical evidence is replaced by ‘spreadsheet’ cost cutters. The NUM have enlisted the help of Pit Mouse to help demonstrate what is happening.

Rub Some More Salt In

With news that the political party that destroyed the coal industry wants to hold an event at the National Coal Mining Museum for England should they be surprised that people are upset?

Read the Durham Miners response here

Read NUM response here

Coal Keeps You Safe & Warm

Remember the recent headlines about how wind power has now replaced coal and the king is dead. Not that there is anything wrong with wind, solar, tidal or any other form of power that helps us survive. Whilst coal still has a role it can and should be used cleanly and extracted from under our feet instead of being imported thousands of miles using up resources in a way that is avoidable. When it is cold with no wind and no sun who do we rely on to keep the lights on check here to find out

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