The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) is concerned large mining companies are using the economic crisis as an excuse to cut jobs.
Anglo Coal will conduct a review of its organisation and workforce and is aiming to cut staff by 20%.
CFMEU district vice president Steve Pierce told MINING DAILY that the major mining companies were getting on the global financial crisis bandwagon, using it as an easy out.
“Everything is profit driven and mining companies see their only option is to put their employees against the wall, shoot them and worry about the impact later on,” Pierce said.
“None of these companies have learnt their lesson from the 80s and 90s where massive numbers of employees were retrenched during the downturn. Companies did not take the time to look at alternatives and then when the market started to swing, and they needed to find labour, they had no one to go to so they cried skills shortage.”
Pierce said mining companies need to be held accountable for their actions and show responsibility and ethics towards their employees instead of using them as an expendable commodity.