AS YOU are aware NACODS are trying to get the government to pay miners for industrial illnesses caused by working underground.

I am an ex-miner and get industrial injury benefit for white finger and osteoarthritis. We know the government have turned their backs on their responsibility to miners. I was told my industrial injury benefit of £94 was the reason I could not claim any other benefits. It took five months for my appeal to go through. People forget we worked for a nationalised industry, the coal board, no matter which government. Our benefit was paid for our disadvantages in the job market and part of our compensation. The way to beat the government is to go through the European Court of Human Rights.

European miners, as I understand it, don’t have their injury benefits classed as income and it isn’t calculated as sick pay. They even have different early retirement deals for miners. We are special cases. All the unions should have fought together and gone through the European courts. I have my European courts papers filled in and they are going. One acorn sometimes can make an oak tree grow. Kevin Machen, Clydach, Abergavenny