Salt Miners Vow to Work Flat Out During the Big Freeze
Monday, January 11th, 2010
Unite the union members at Britain’s biggest mine have today (11th January) vowed to continue battling into work in icy conditions above ground and work in Saharan temperatures underneath to produce salt to keep Britain moving through the big freeze.
The workers at Cleveland Potash in North Yorkshire, Britain’s biggest mine and deepest mine in the western hemisphere, are battling into work in sub-zero temperatures and then digging vital supplies of salt over one mile underground, using heavy machinery in strata temperatures of 43 degrees centigrade. Many sacrificed much of their Christmas break to step up salt supplies.
The mine operates 24 hours a day, with the miners working nine and half hour shifts, carrying six litres of ice for refreshment, as drinking water quickly becomes as hot as tea. Cleveland Potash produces an average of 10,000 tonnes of salt a day which is then crushed and graded by Unite members working on the surface before being dispatched to local authorities across the country for use on roads.
John Chilton, Unite convenor at Cleveland Potash said:
“Unite members at Britain’s biggest salt mine are 100 per cent committed.
They are travelling to work in Arctic weather, but working flat out in Saharan temperatures to mine the salt which keeps Britain’s roads and pavements safe. Many of the workers have already sacrificed much of their Christmas holiday when the mine is normally closed for production and some were even at work on Christmas Day.”
Tony Woodley Unite, joint general secretary said:
“There are workers across the country working to keep Britain running through the big freeze. All too often their efforts are overlooked. These miners are just one example of the dedication shown by workers to keep the British people warm and safe during the big freeze.”
Cleveland Potash employs 600 workers at the mine in North Yorkshire