Mine workers at 'rock bottom' over job wait
WORKERS at a Neath Valley mine are still waiting for news on potential jobs losses.
Wayne Thomas, general secretary of the South Wales National Union of Mineworkers, said morale is "rock bottom" at Unity mine in Cwmgwrach.
It was in August when it was revealed that there may be jobs losses at the mine.
Management said they only had work for 66 out of the 220 employees.
Following negotiations a rota system which involved miners sharing shifts was introduced as a short term fix.
But Mr Thomas claims this has not been the case.
"They agreed everyone would be on a rota basis but that has not been done," he said. "Some are doing five days but there are 22 apprentices which are not being considered for work at all.
"It is appalling — moral is rock bottom."
He said that 40 per cent of the workforce would not qualify for redundancy because they have not been there long enough.
"Some of these guys have been offered work elsewhere," he said.
"But they don't want to work elsewhere."
Mr Thomas said meetings were held with unions and the directors on Thursday.
"There was no news," he said.
"They would not give us any information.
"But they have assured the NUM representatives that the company will be making a formal announcement next Friday."
Blaengwrach councillor Alf Siddley said he would have expected for some news by now.
"Christmas is coming up and people want to know what position they are going to be in," he said.
A mine spokesman said discussions were still ongoing and confirmed that there will be an announcement next week.
Neath AM Gwenda Thomas and Neath MP Peter Hain have been involved with negotiations.