Coal miners strike against workforce casualisation

Anglo American German Creek coal miners are striking as Enterprise Bargaining Agreement negotiations fail to meet a conclusion.

The previous EBA expired in early April, 2014, and since that time 16 meetings have been held, but an agreement is yet to be reached, the Daily Mercury reported.

“There have been 16 separate Enterprise Bargaining meetings since negotiations began,” CFMEU mining and energy division QLD district vice president Glenn Power said.

“It is clear the company has no intention of negotiating in good faith, but is simply using delay tactics to avoid ever coming to a fair agreement.”

Power went on to outline the main points of contention.

“There are some really basic things Anglo are objecting to – for example we are trying to comply with safety and health regulations and to get some basic commitments on job security for workers.”

The CFMEU are seeking to removal a casual clause to ensure fulltime, permanent jobs are halt casualization of the workforce; inclusion of the industry standard for accident pay;  a better process for Fair Work Commission arbitration  in unresolved disputes; and continuation of current remuneration rates.

Workers have reportedly supported the CFMEU push.

An Anglo American spokesperson told the Daily Mercury the company is “very disappointed” in the CFMEU and striking workers’ actions, especially “in light of the realities of the extremely tough market conditions the industry is experiencing”.

“Anglo American’s Capcoal production employees are currently well paid and the taking of strike action will not change our resolve to ensure future Enterprise Agreement outcomes reflect the cost pressures facing the mine,” she said.

She went on to say wage increases in the currently depressed market would potentially damage the future of the operation and ongoing job security for workers.

Earlier this week Anglo American sold its Foxleigh coal mine to a joint venture conglomerate, as part of its wider strategy to slowly divest all of its Australian assets.

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