CFMEU criticises inequality of New Hope mining offer

The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) has criticised an enterprise agreement by coal company New Hope Group at its West Moreton coal operations in Ipswich, Queensland.

The main contention cited by CFMEU is New Hope’s proposed two-tier salary system would see an employee with 30 years’ service receive 2.3 per cent less than a new employee on an individual contract with minimal skills, according to CFMEU mining and energy division, Queensland District vice president Shane Brunker.

“The CFMEU is appalled that New Hope is placing its workers front and centre during campaigns, such as for its expansion plans at its other operations, but then increase their profits at the expense of its workers,” he said.

“This is simply about the company positioning itself to minimise costs when the mine closes in 2019 by reducing the final pay out for the segregated enterprise agreement workers. This action by New Hope is pure greed and immoral.”

According to the CFMEU, New Hope’s offer also didn’t maintain compliance with the Fair Work Act regarding dispute resolution or accident pay.

“We have members on both forms of employment contracts and it is causing a toxic environment among the work groups at the site,” said Brunker.

“The company’s irresponsible actions have left the Union with no alternative but to campaign for a no vote in the agreement ballot from all workers at West Moreton.”

New Hope reported record first half results in March this year, with revenues up 36 per cent to $509.4 million year over year (YoY) and profits before tax of $165.2 million, up 107 per cent YoY — net profit after tax stood at $115.6 million.

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