CFMEU and Peabody strike pay deal for Helensburgh mine workers

Employees at Peabody’s Helensburgh mine will return to work tonight after the company and the CFMEU reached an in principal agreement around a new pay deal.

The successful negotiation comes after many months of disagreements between the two sides which has seen ongoing strikes, lock-outs and protests.

Australian Mining understands the new agreement features a 2 per cent pay increase from January 2014 and another 2.25 per cent pay increase in January 2015.

Workers are set to vote on the agreement in coming weeks.

A spokesperson for Peabody told Australian Mining the company was glad to be in the final stages of a resolution.

"Peabody Energy and the CFMEU have reached an in principle agreement on the matters outstanding in the Helensburgh Coal Enterprise Agreement," she said.

“Peabody is looking forward to the return of the workforce so that we can all share in its future success.”

Last week the CFMEU and Peabody held talks before the Fair Work Commission after an initial deal proposed by the miner was voted down by workers.

Peabody proposed workers receive zero, two and two pay percentage increases plus bonuses over a two year deal but the CFMEU called for a four per cent wage increase in exchange for a four per cent sacrifice on bonuses.

CFMEU south-western district vice-president Bob Timbs told Australian Mining the union was relieved the matter had been settled.

“It was a fairly painstaking process but we are happy with results," Timbs said.

Timbs added that the workforce were also happy to be back at work.

“It’s a relief for the workers” he said.

“It’s coming up to Christmas time so the employees will now be able to throw money at Santa Claus.”

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