Miners will carry out 24 hours of strikes today at the Griffin Coal mine after workers’ pay was cut by more than 40 per cent.
Earlier this month a decision by the Fair Work Commission – after a series of failed enterprise bargaining agreements – saw maintenance workers reverted back to the existing Black Coal Mining Industry Award (2010), which will result in a 43 per cent pay cut and loss of entitlements and conditions.
According to the Fair Work Commission documents, “At the end of those bargaining meetings, the AMWU stated to the Commission that it is unable to agree or disagree that Griffin Coal has “communicated to employee bargaining representative the financial and economic imperatives for change in order to achieve a sustainable business.”
“Further, the AMWU is unable to agree or disagree that the range of provisions in the Maintenance Agreement which Griffin Coal regards as key provisions, includes: rates of pay, rosters, use of contractors, manning levels, superannuation and fares and allowances.”
Following this, FWC commissioner Daniel Cloghan said, “In view of the significant amount of evidence, I find the AMWU’s response of neither agreeing nor disagreeing to the above statements not one of doubt, but denial. The evidence is plain on these issues.”
“The simple fact is that, after over 12 months of bargaining prior to the hearing, the parties are unable to reach agreement on a replacement agreement.”
In response to this FWD decision, maintenance workers at the mine will today carry out 24 hours of protected strike action, starting from 5:30 am WA time.
“Protected action is always a last resort,” AMWU state secretary Steve McCartney said.
“All workers are trying to do is negotiate a new, fair agreement with their employer as is their legal right.”