Coal train workers strike

Downer EDI Hunter Valley coal train maintenance workers carried out strikes this weekend over stalled enterprise agreement negotiations.

According to the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) the locomotive maintenance workers at Downer EDI Rail’s Kooragang site downed tools on Saturday, saying they were "frustrated by the protracted negotiations".

The union said these workers were paid 8% less than workers at Downer’s Cootamundra, Werris Creek, Port Kembla, Port Waratah, and Sydney operations.

The Newcastle Herald reported that Kooragang workers are paid around $80 less for a week’s work.

"It’s a simple matter of being paid the same as other workers at the same company doing the same work," AMWU organiser Jim O’Neill said.

"The company is also threatening that they will not negotiate if the union is considering protected industrial action – which is a workers’ right – if the company won’t negotiate will pursue this through Fair Work Australia".

The AMWU went on to say that work stoppages will continue through the week.

Downer has not responded to the industrial action.

These work stoppages come as coal mine strikes across BMA operations in Queensland’s Bowen Basin continue to increase in intensity.

http://www.miningaustralia.com.au/news/bhp-denies-recruiting-campaign-for–closed–mine

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