CFMEU battle coal worker pay freeze

The CFMEU are fighting against a new enterprise agreement at Peabody’s Metropolitan coal mine that it claims will see workers’ wages stalled.

Representatives from the CFMEU met with the mine’s managers this week to discuss the enterprise agreement after it expired at the end of June.

The CFMEU says the new agreement would freeze employees pay increases, putting their wages behind those at other operations in the region, The Illawarra Mercury reported.

CFMEU mining and energy division district vice-president Bob Timbs said discussions had been taking place for around six months, with negotiations set to continue.

A spokesman for the colliery said the mine had been trying to negotiate a “fair and sustainable outcome for all employees and the company”.

“Peabody is committed to working with our employees and the union to deliver an agreement which mirrors current market conditions, enables the company to manage current industry challenges and provides job security for all employees,” the spokesman said.

Peabody cut 42 jobs from the mine earlier this year as part of plans to slash 400 positions from its operations across NSW and QLD.

This week the company also announced a further 70 jobs would go from its Wilkie Creek coal mine in Queensland.

The cuts come as the company released  its Australian June quarter earnings of $US112.5 million, compared with $US240.4 million in the same quarter last year.

Early this year the company reported US$1 billion in losses for the 4Q12 and a full-year 2012 loss of US$575.1 million.

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