Privatised pits: End of a dream for Malcolm Edwards as he gives up hope of raising pounds 20m from shareholders and calls in administrators

Angry miners 'told nothing'

At Annesely Bentinck colliery near Mansfield, miners were last night angry that they had not been fully appraised of the latest situation at the cash-stricken Coal Investments.

"We have been told virtually nothing," said one man coming off shift.

"We were told the banks had appointed someone to look at the company books but we don't know yet if we are going to be paid this week or if we will have a job next week."

Another said: "There have been rumours for the last couple of days that there is going to be a management reshuffle but rumours are all we have had."

Miners at the pit - one of six operated by Coal Investments - have been angered by the lack of information.

"We worked right through Christmas to keep the output figures up but now there is trouble we are being told nothing," one complained.

"They are getting rid of the contract workers today. Is it going to be our turn tomorrow?"

More than 100 contract workers were laid off yesterday at two of the company's West Midlands pits - Hemheath and Coventry.

One Coventry man said: "There was no warning, nothing. We reported for work as normal this morning and found a lot of our chaps standing around in the car park.

"They just told us our services were no longer required. Someone said the company was in trouble and then we were told to turn round and go back home.

"It has come as a complete shock."