UK Coal Into Administration

27 Jul 2013

Former employees of RJB Mining Ltd and UK Coal plc, in particular those who previously worked for British Coal and were TUPE’d across at privatisation in 1995, may be concerned regarding recent reports about UK Coal Mine Holdings Ltd (UKCMHL) and UK Coal Operations Ltd (UKCOL) going into administration on 9 July 2013. The Press Release from UK Coal on 9 July stated:

“As a result of the problems that the Daw Mill fire created for UK Coal, both UK Coal Mine Holdings Ltd (UKCMHL) and UK Coal Operations Ltd (UKCOL) have today gone into administration.  David Kelly, Rob Hebenton and Ian Green from PwC have been appointed administrators of the companies by Birmingham High Court following an application by the directors.  Graham Newton and Paul Bates of BDO LLP were also appointed Joint Administrators of Mining Services Ltd.

The administrators have separated out the viable operations of the group and agreed a compromise with major creditors, including the Industry Wide Pension Funds, which will see the pension schemes transfer to the Pension Protection Fund in due course. The viable mining operations have been successfully restructured and their assets will now be held in individual companies owned by a new business which will operate as UK Coal Production Ltd.” 

It is understood that, following this announcement, letters have been sent to former employees who had been in receipt of concessionary fuel and/or cash in lieu. Since many members may be concerned about how this situation might affect them, this is an update of what is happening as regards to actions being taken by GMB.

Pam Ross, Branch Equality Officer of Yorkshire Coal Staffs Branch is currently involved (with representatives of other mining unions) in meetings with the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).  Discussions are ongoing, no further news is expected for some weeks as information is being gathered and collated. With regard to members of the Industry Wide Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme (IWCSSS), Dave Bell, Branch Secretary of Yorkshire Coal Staffs Branch, as Pension Trustee, has been attending meetings on behalf of GMB.  If members of the Scheme have any queries relating to pensions, you may contact him on 01977 635176.

It is hoped to provide further updates once more discussions have taken place, but this is not expected for several weeks.  In the meantime, we would urge any members affected by this situation to write to their MP.