The decision to almost halve Griffin Coal’s maintenance workers’ pay has been put on hold following rallies.
The Fair Work Commission has ordered a stay on the planned return to the Black Coal Mining Industry Award (2010) after enterprise bargaining agreement negotiations failed, according to the ABC.
In early June, the FWC decided to terminate the existing EBA between Griffin Coal and its 70 maintenance workers, a decision which would see the workers’ pay cut by 43 per cent.
“After 12 months of protracted negotiations, over which time Griffin has continually tried to cut pay and strip back the working conditions and entitlements fairly negotiated by workers over many years, the FWC has ruled that, in the ‘public interest’, the agreement should be terminated as of 10 July,” the AMWU said at the time.
There were reportedly 24 bargaining agreement meetings between unions and the miner between March 2015 and February 2016, and 15 conferences facilitated by the FWC between the two to reach an agreement, however the parties failed to reach a mutual agreement.
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, workers announced they would carry out 24 hour rolling protected strikes.
This action helped drive additional hearings at the FWC, which has now decided to halt the pay cut after an appeal by the AMWU in the coming weeks.