Angry CFMEU locks horns with QRC

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union has written to the Queensland Resources Council to demand the lobby group drop a proposal to weaken union power.

The QRC's proposal to strip union safety inspectors of the power to close mines has infuriated the CFMEU, which said in a statement today the reform was "ludicrous".

"Taking away the powers of safety inspectors at the coalface in favour of entrusting them to company executives in an office is dangerously naïve," it said.

According to the QRC the union has abused its ability to close mines and changes to safety rules would bring regulations closer to those in NSW.

But the CFMEU said strict rules in QLD had been "hard fought" by workers and should not be weakened.

"The QRC says it wants safety lowered to match legislation in NSW, so why doesn't it lobby the NSW Government to boost safety there rather than attacking those protecting QLD workers?" it said.

Last week the CFMEU passed a resolution to oppose changes to safety rules with "all necessary steps," including sparking strikes across all QLD coal mines.

QLD Premier Campbell Newman said any changes to legislation would not diminish standards and workers should not risk their pay and the reputation of the industry by striking.

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