Coal strikes called off at Curragh

Mining unions and Wesfarmers have come to an agreement following industrial action at the Curragh coal mine.

Earlier this month the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union announced that it was carrying out a week of rolling strikes until Wesfarmers, the owner of Curragh, meet their demands regarding a new enterprise agreement.

It came after more than ten months of negotiations.

However, late yesterday the miner announced that it had reached an agreement with unions on new workplace enterprise agreements.

Kent Beasley from Wesfarmers stated that "following many months of negotiations Curragh is pleased that a new enterprise agreement has been reached with the Single Bargaining Unit (SBU).

The agreement was welcomed by the CFMEU, with Queensland district president Steve Smyth saying the "breakthrough is proof disputes could be resolved swiftly and effectively when companies choose to negotiate in good faith.

"The union welcomes Wesfarmers' latest offer and it must be noted that there has been compromise on both sides during the ten months of negotiations."

He went on to say that this agreement with the company comes after it "abandoned an attempt to make future industrial action illegal and compromise on sick and annual leave entitlement sticking points".

Beasley added that "Curragh is also pleased that as a result of reaching agreement with the SBU that all protected action planned for this week has now been withdrawn.

"Curragh believes that this new agreement provides employees with industry competitive wages and benefits while ensuring the long term sustainability and growth of the business."

However despite the mutual agreement being reached the CFMEU voiced its disappointment that it took this long.

"It is still disappointing that it took the prospect of protected rolling stoppages and visits to Fair Work Australia to ensure this outcome."

According to Curragh the new agreement has been made available to the workforce for their consideration over the next week, while a vote by eligible members will be conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission during the period 25 to 29 June 2012.

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