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Coal Industry (Six-Day Working)

Volume 113: debated on Monday 30 March 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy what discussions he has had with British Coal about the implications of an extension of six-day working in the industry for United Kingdom energy policy.

Any change in working practices in the coal industry is, of course, a matter for negotiation between British Coal and the mining unions concerned.

I thank my hon. Friend for his answer. I welcome the statement by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy about the building of two new coal-fired power stations. Does my hon. Friend agree that the CEGB made its commitment to the coal industry because of the decision of the south Wales miners in accepting six-day coaling and the record productivity in Nottinghamshire, making electricity generation from coal more competitive than other energy sources?

I welcome the positive approach by the south Wales NUM to British Coal's proposals for six-day coaling at Margam. My hon. Friend is right. The message coming loud and clear from the pits is that the men and management are prepared to work with this massive record investment by the Government and to produce these fantastic productivity figures.