Huntly miners fear for jobs

Huntly East miners are bracing themselves for more redundancies as the Government scrambles to fix the financial mess within Solid Energy, which one miner blamed on former boss Don Elder.

Ross Vernon, a third generation miner and mechanical fitter at Huntly East, today said Solid Energy should never have gone outside its core business of mining coal - and doing so had led to its $389 million debt which had promted the Government to consider a bailout.

Mr Vernon, speaking outside a union meeting, said it was disgusting that 70 workers were hired during the last year with the promise of a 25-year future with the company, only to be then made redundant.

He said the mood inside the union meeting where 70 of the mine's 170 staff gathered, was one of concern.

If job losses were the result of the latest turmoil, as feared, they would "devestate" the town.

- By Natalie Akoorie of the New Zealand Herald

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