CFMEU up in arms as coal jobs under threat in sell off

The CFMEU has raised concern over the fate of workers at BMA's Crinum underground mine following the decision to sell off the mine.

Late last week Australian Mining broke the news that BMA was considering selling off its Gregory Crinum coal complex, which consists of open cut and longwall operations.

A BHP spokesperson told Australian Mining that the miner is "looking at the potential divestment of the Gregory Crinum mine," adding that it is also considering extending the Crinum operations.

In an official statement, BHP confirmed that it is investigating potential divestment of the Gregory Crinum Mine Complex, located near Emerald in Central Queensland.

"In addition to divestment, the Company is assessing options for the Gregory Crinum Complex to further extend the operation’s life."

However they stressed that no decision has been made as of yet.

CFMEU district vice president Steve Smyth said this announcement has caused distress amongst the workforce, the Daily Mercury reports.

"For employees it can be a traumatic time," Smyth said.

"If they (BHP) get the price they want, they'll sell it. If they don't, they won't.

"I don't for a minute accept they're not making money. They're still very profitable.

"I just think it's unfortunately the workers are the ones that suffer; the corporations will continue to do business as they've done for years."

At the time of the announcement BHP reinforced that "any decision to proceed with divestment, or otherwise, is unlikely for six to nine months and will depend on market interest and other commercial factors."

It went on to state that it "will regularly engage with its employees and their representatives as well as key stakeholders should the divestment process proceed further," adding that "BHP Billiton Metallurgical Coal will continue to review its portfolio of assets to ensure alignment with the Company’s strategy".

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