CEO of GlencoreXstrata, Ivan Glasenberg, has been invited to Collinsville by two concerned community members who want him to witness the impacts of the mine closure firsthand.
Mining Communities United president Donna Bulloch along with local Collinsville resident Lorraine Williams travelled to Sydney on a mission to find Glasenberg to discuss the issues in the small town in light of the mine’s closure which has left 200 people out of work.
“We’d really like to see Ivan Glasenberg himself come to Collinsville and see what’s happened to our community,” Williams said.
Williams said the effects of the mine closure had been widespread, resulting in the closure of businesses and forcing local schools to scale back.
“If the locals don’t get reemployed in this mine, the town will die,” Bulloch said.
She stated it was important for the multinational miner to send someone to the town.
“The people at the Collinsville coal mine are not stepping out of their offices and coming out to the community to have a chat, so we need someone out there, we need them to see the devastation it’s causing,” she said.
The local community have become increasingly concerned that their town may go under after the closure of the mine in early September, with the company refusing to grant preference to the existing workforce as it moves to an owner-operator model.
GlencoreXstrata say previous workplace agreements are restrictive and want to re-hire workers under differing contracts which are “modern and flexible”, a move which has angered the unions and the community alike.
GlencoreXstrata said the coal mine will not reopen until early 2014 if new employee arrangements cannot be finalised.
The company said it appreciates the impacts the suspension of operations was having on the community, but the “changes being proposed were designed to return the mine to higher levels of productivity and long-term profitability”, in turn supporting the local community.
A spokesperson told Australian Mining the company was committed to meeting with locals and had held numerous community meetings over the past two weeks.
The CFMEU have accused GlencoreXstrata of being anti-union and anti-collective bargaining, stepping up their fight against the miner by announcing that it plans to take GlencoreXstrata to court to block the miner from hiring new workers.
It has claimed the miner is attempting to disband the CFMEU’s footprint in the region.
While most aspects of the new workplace agreement remains under wraps, an ad taken out by Glencore in a Bowen newspaper said Glencore’s new salary for a 7 day roster was higher by $1900 – $5,370 per year to $119,989 – $128,943.
Superannuation contributions will rise by $410 – $1240 a year to $11,099 – $11,927.
However critics say higher wages come at the cost of reduced entitlements such as rental assistance which makes the agreement less attractive.