Goonyella strikes due to permanent staff cuts

A source familiar with the situation has told MINING DAILY that recent industrial action at Peabody's North Goonyella coal mine will intensify as the company is set to begin culling permanent staff.

Industrial action recently initiated at Peabody’s North Goonyella coal mine in Queensland will intensify as the company is set to begin culling members of the permanent workforce, a source familiar with the situation told MINING DAILY.

As reported yesterday in an exclusive by MINING DAILY, North Goonyella workers have engaged in work stoppages since 7 November.

According to the unnamed source, workers have received information that close to 20% of staff positions will be cut and the same amount of production workers will also be lost.

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) vice president Glenn Power confirmed to MINING DAILY that Peabody is looking to cut permanent staff.

“Peabody announced yesterday that they are going to be retrenching 35 permanent employees,” he said.

The company’s current Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) states that permanent workers are not to be cut before the company has removed all contactor and temporary positions, but contractors are still onsite, Power said.

“The existing agreement has provisions in it that says there are processes you have to follow, including sitting down and consulting with all parties to see what can be done to minimise any of the adverse effects that might be on the permanent employees.

“Peabody has failed to do that.

“They are not prepared to look at addressing the contractors.”

It is this major discrepancy that led to six hour strikes being initiated, but according to the source these stoppages are expected to increase as Peabody takes time to decide on redundancies.

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