Miners’ union set to fight on for payouts despite £1m legal bill
A MINERS’ union faced with a potential £1million legal bill said it will still fight on for workers’ compensation.
The National Association of Colliery Overmen Deputies and Shotfirers South Wales (Nacods) is awaiting the outcome of two major court cases but said it will not go out of business even if it loses.
It is awaiting the result of the case against the Phurnacite smokeless fuel plant in Abercwmboi, Rhondda Cynon Taff, a smokeless fuel plant which was run by British Coal and National Smokeless Fuels Limited.
The other case is an appeal for an unsuccessful compensation claim for miners who have suffered from osteoarthritis.
Union leader Bleddyn Hancock said: “We have the funds to pay the costs of the cases even if we lose.
“Even if we were to go out of business then it would be an honourable way to go.
“The union uses the funds to help members fight for compensation so it is not kept for a rainy day. It is a rainy day.”
The Argus campaigned for years alongside Nacods to get compensation for miners.
Gwent miners received more than £88 million in compensation in 2011 for chest diseases caused by coal dust, following an Argus campaign for justice.
The union has 500 members but only 40 are still working, the other members are retired miners.
Mr Hancock said at the time: “The Argus campaigned for the miners through the difficult times. We were very grateful for the support.”
The Argus campaigned to ensure their suffering did not go unnoticed, demanding that payment be sped up for those who developed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) from working in pits across Wales and whose compensation claims were held up by red tape and government delays.