Letter: The mines: effects of closure on the economy, the environment and individual lives

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The Independent Online
Sir: You report (16 October) Mr Justice Vinelott's statement that the key issue in whether British Coal has broken the law in failing to give 90 days' notice of redundancies is whether there is any real prospect of ultimate success for the unions. May I comment from the perspective of someone who has recently been through the experience.

In June, I, along with about 600 others, was told that my position within British Aerospace was 'at risk'. During the 90-day consultation period we experienced the classic cycle of emotions associated with such change, from shock, anger and depression through moments of euphoria to a gradual acceptance of the change and a determination to look to the future with optimism. For many of us this has taken several months, it is not something that happens within the four days which some of the miners have been given.

The law should show its human side and allow that the period of consultation offers a great deal more than the prospect of changing the eventual outcome, it offers the chance to come to terms with change in an environment which is at least familiar, if not so friendly as it seemed last week.

Yours sincerely,

KAREN A. H. BURT

London, N10

16 October

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