Today's post is by Gemma Reucroft, the UK HR Director of Tunstall Healthcare (UK) Ltd where she leads HR in the UK and Ireland. Prior to joining Tunstall, gemma has held a variety of HR roles, including leading teams in employee relations, resourcing, operations, service delivery and business partnering. Gemma is a fellow of the CIPD, has a Masters' Degree in Employment Law and Industrial Relations from Keele and is a qualified mediator and coach. Gemma is a celebrated Social Media expert, regular speaker and acclaimed writer. Amongst various publications, Gemma co-authored a book on Social Media with Tim Scott, Putting Social Media to Work – A Practical Guide, which was mentioned in Day 43's post. Her blog, People Stuff, is a great read and accurately named. Gemma is a great source of advice and inspiration and genuinely cares about making the world of work a win-win for all parties involved.
A fine powder created from handling coal.
In the air, highly explosive. Did you know that because of coal dust, a nearly empty coal store is actually more likely to explode than a full one?
Many mining disasters, and many deaths of mine workers, have resulted from the presence of coal dust.
Mining is a tough, dirty, and often dangerous job. But a job that many men fought hard to keep all the same. A fight that they did not, perhaps could not win. But as many miners will tell you, you may leave the employment of the mine and come back up top, but something about it stays with you still.
In December, the last deep mine in the UK closed, with the loss of 450 jobs. An industry that once employed a million men. The once mighty National Union of Mineworkers now reportedly has less than 100 members.
Those of us that are interested in the world of work often talk about this thing, this most elusive of things; meaningful work. We talk too of the often fabled ‘employee engagement’. Few of the theories and the books and the thought leaders seem to suggest that employee engagement is gained by crawling on your hands and knees through low coal seams, descending into the dark in a tightly packaged cage, getting filthy, risking injury and death every day. But engaged these men were all the same, with their industry, their work, their colleagues. A different kind of engagement, perhaps, than the one we talk of today.
The mining industry in the UK, is mostly gone. Mines abandoned. Some, filled in with concrete. Equipment left beneath the surface to slowly rust away to nothing. Ghosts of an industry consigned to history.
|A Yorkshire miner|
|Port Mulgrave, North Yorkshire|