Pit safety plans go 'back to Dark Ages'
The tripartite commission has suggested regulations which would drastically change old managerial structures and end the critical function of pit deputies who ensure safety standards whenever coal is cut.
The proposals, which have been presented to David Hunt, the Secretary of State for Employment, are expected to prompt demands for a judicial review from unions. Commissioners want to see the regulations introduced by 1 October. No new legisation will be required, but the plans will encounter considerable opposition in Parliament.
Coal unions say that strict and detailed statutes governing the safety of pits will be replaced by 'vague' codes of practice giving mine managers much more discretion in applying the rules. The proposals sent to Mr Hunt will replace the statutory functions of deputies with a stricture that there should be a 'suitable management structure'.
Peter McNestry, general secretary of the colliery deputies' union Nacods, said yesterday the proposals would send the collieries 'back to the Dark Ages' where the conditions faced by pitmen were at the whim of managers.
'It is now a question of whether the Government wants to pick a fight over an issue as fundamental as mine safety,' he said.
The commission was originally scheduled to take the decision at the beginning of the year, but decided to wait until the publication of the Government's White Paper on the future of the industry. When the body took the decision on 12 April only one of three union representatives was present. Peter Jacques, a TUC official, registered his 'strong objection' to the plan.
Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas
- 2 Isis release 'Flames of War' video warning Obama of attacks troops could face in Iraq
- 3 Pakistani passenger power forces two politicians off plane
- 4 Say yes to 'no-poo': It's been three years since I stopped washing my hair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...
£90 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Science Teacher (mater...
£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for an ...
£22000 - £37000 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: A West Yorkshire School i...