London — S. African companies recruit striking British coal miners
Hundreds of British coal miners are applying for jobs in the South African mining industry, and about 290 have been hired, London's Sunday Times reported yesterday.
The newspaper said two of South Africa's largest mining corporations - Goldfields of South Africa Ltd. and Gencor (UK) Ltd. - will send officials to Britain this week in search of more recruits.
Three-fourths of Britain's 175 mines have been closed for almost eight months by a strike over the state-run British coal industry's plans to close 20 unprofitable mines and shed 20,000 jobs through attrition.
Meanwhile, the Soviet Union denied charges that it was using coal as a political weapon, the official Soviet news agency Tass reported Saturday. The statement apparently referred to reports that Soviet trade unionists had announced an embargo on coal shipments to Britain.