§ Mr. Lester
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what discussions he has had with the chairman of the National Coal Board about the redeployment of men from Bates colliery.
§ Mr. Peter Walker
I understand from the chairman of the National Coal Board that all men wishing to continue working in the industry will be able to transfer from Bates to other collieries in the north-east. Reports that deputies at Bates would not be offered an equivalent job on transfer are completely untrue.
I understand that almost half the NACODS members at the pit have expressed a preference for redundancy and the remaining 48 who prefer transfer to equivalent jobs have been given details of 85 jobs which are available at pits in the area.