Commenting on news that Cleveland Potash are cutting another 140 Jobs Tom Blenkinsop, Labour Member of Parliament for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, where the mine is located, said:
“This is very concerning news as it comes just a week after another accident at the mine.
“Mines by their nature are hazardous but there has been a marked increase in incidents in recent months. In April 11 miners were trapped underground for hours when a fire cut them off, in June a gas blowout killed John ‘Richie’ Anderson, last week a worker was put in to and induced coma for two days after suffering a serious electric shock and there have been other health and safety incidents since the workforce was reduced at the beginning of the year.
“I will be meeting with the chief inspector of mines, Bob Leeming, Tomorrow (Tuesday 16th August) to talk about the series of accidents in recent months and since the initial redundancies were announced.
“Safety must be the first priority in any potentially dangerous workplace and I will be seeking assurances from the mines owners that they have taken this into account when deciding on these new job losses.
“I already have concerns that the new 11.5 hour shifts could have an effect on safety and I would like a guarantee that proper consultations will take place if there are any further changes to the shift pattern and that the high temperatures and hazardous conditions are taken in to account when changes are made.
“My thoughts are with the workforce and their families at this difficult time, I will do all I can to help them. I have already contacted on-site union representatives and I will be working closely with them through the redundancy process. I would also like to reiterate the calls I made for enhanced redundancy payments when previous job losses were announced.”
You can read Tom’s concerns about redundancy payments here.