Community 'devastated' by mine's mothballing
THE mayor of a Neath Valley town has spoken of the "devastation" in the community about the mothballing of Aberpergwm Colliery.
Letters have been sent to workers informing them about the potential suspension of work at the site near Glynneath, with the loss of 250 jobs.
Town mayor Eddie Jones said: "I am absolutely gutted with the announcement. This is a major employer in the valley who have invested heavily in the area with good, well paid jobs.
"To hear this news before Christmas is devastating.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"I have spoken to one of the employees who explained what is going on, it sounds as if most of the people there are going to be placed on gardening leave.
"He is a young man with a young family, with a mortgage, it is devastating."
Suspension would affect a total of 270 employees with 251 losing their jobs and 19 being kept on to run the mine on a care and maintenance basis.
The mine's parent company Walter Energy has entered into a 90-day consultation period with staff.
"We are doing what we can to regenerate the area, doing what we can to push things forward," Mr Jones added.
"As a small valley community, it has a terrible effect, I want the best for our community."
A spokesman for the Welsh Government said: "We are very disappointed with this announcement, which will come as a blow to the workers, their families and the local community.
"However, we are currently working with Walter Energy management to ensure that those affected by redundancy will be offered support via the React programme and to discuss how the Welsh Government officials can support the company.
"In addition officials remain in discussion with Walter Energy to explore additional support for the remaining workforce via the workforce development programme to address any skills gaps as a result of the redundancies."