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Updated at 8:46 am on 24 December 2010
Contractors owed money for work they did at the Pike River coalmine have been told by Pike River Coal's receivers that there's little chance they will be paid.
Money owed to the employers of the 13 contractors who died in the mine disaster has been settled, but now other contractors and suppliers have formed a group to protect their interests.
They have vowed to fight on and to lobby the company's two main secured creditors for the preferential treatment given to the contracting companies whose employees were killed.
The group's chair, Peter Haddock, told Morning Report the 60 affected companies worry about how they will pay their accounts and keep their staff.
Mr Haddock says the Pike River situation is not a normal business failure and it should be dealt with as a special case.
The decision by NZ Oil and Gas and BNZ is a wonderful gesture, he says, and he hopes it can be extended to the companies he represents.
The mayor of Grey District, Tony Kokshoorn, says is asking the Government to step in to ensure contractors are not left out of pocket.
Mr Kokshoorn says a Government stimulus package could include support for contractors who are unsecured creditors.
He says receivers may also play a part in that, having announced they will pay the companies whose contractors died in the blasts.
Mr Kokshoorn says it's important for the community to celebrate Christmas despite the tragedy. The families of the men who died will visit the mine on Christmas Day.
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