Mine strikes continue on Christmas Island

Industrial action on Christmas Island is continuing, as miners demand a pay raise that the company says it can not afford.

Around 180 miners at Phosphate Resources Christmas Island operations are continuing the strike for increased pay, according to ABC Rural.

They are demanding a 20% increase in annual salaries, as well as an increase in the district allowance to $9879 annually.

The miners are striking alongside workers from the island’s detention centre.

Union spokesperson Gordon Thompson told the ABC "the situation on Christmas Island is the cost of living has gone through the roof in the last two years.

"The union’s claims are about obtaining something we don’t have, and that is mainland parity rates of pay for the mine workers.

"You’d be shocked at how little these miners earn compared to those in the Pilbara,” he added.

However, Phosphate Resources says it can not afford the wage increase.

Kevin Edwards, chief operating officer for Phosphate, said it’s too high.

"We’ve produced our books to the employees and to Fair Work Australia," he said.

"Quite clearly it would be beyond the capacity of the operation to provide that sort of return."

The mining company offered a pay increase of 7.5%, adding that if rose any higher it may make the unviable.

Operations are currently shut down on the island.

The miner’s proposed expansion on the island was knocked back last year, the second time the government has rejected development of the mine.

 

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