Christmas Island miners join detention centre strike

 Miners from Christmas Island’s phosphate mine have joined workers from the detention centre in a week long strike.

Workers at Phosphate Resources are pushing for better pay and conditions, according to The West Australian.

The Christmas Island Workers Union, which represents both the miners and workers at the detection centre, have rejected a 12.5% pay rise over four years.

They demand an increase of $5 per hour across all industries, which is essentially an average 20% wage rise, as well as an increase in the district allowance to $9879 annually.

Union spokesperson Gordon Thompson told the ABC "the situation on Christmas Island is the cost of living has gone through the roof in the last two years.

"The union’s claims are about obtaining something we don’t have, and that is mainland parity rates of pay for the mine workers.

"You’d be shocked at how little these miners earn compared to those in the Pilbara,” he added.

However, Phosphate Resources have reportedly made another offer to its miners.

COO Kevin Edwards stating that they have until later this month to respond, adding that the strikes have forced the mine to stop operations.

"We can’t produce and we can’t ship if we’re not producing, so the risk is we will lose our customer base," Edwards told the ABC.

"If we lose too much market share well then we will become non-viable."

 

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