Strikes set to cost coal firm £20m

Proposed
strikes at the country’s largest coal producer could cost the company £20m,
union leaders say.

According
to website Ananova, members of the pit supervisors’ union Nacods are set to
stage a series of one-day walkouts against UK Coal starting on Tuesday, after
82 per cent voted in favour of industrial action.

The
company hopes the action can be averted, but admits production at most of its
13 pits will stop if the strikes go ahead.

Ananova
reports that Nacods rejected a 2 per cent pay rise offer, arguing that its
members are now paid less than the workmen they supervise.

General
secretary Ian Parker says supervisors have been among the most moderate in the
mining industry but had become "increasingly angry" over pay.

"We
estimate that this dispute could cost UK Coal upwards of £20m in lost
production and wipe millions of pounds off its share price," he said.

By Quentin Reade

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