Miners locked out

Miners have been locked out of Xstrata's Tahmoor colliery over ongoing disputes

Contract negotiations have failed at Xstrata’s Tahmoor colliery with the company refusing to let workers in the pit.

Workers at Xstrata’s Tahmoor colliery have been in a long running dispute with Xstrata over pay.

After walking off the job for 24 hours, with plans to return to shifts tonight at half strength and continue at half capacity for the next three days, workers arrived to find access to the pit barred.

Speaking to MINING DAILY, the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union western district vice president Graham White said “these negotiations have gone on for 15 months.

“The miners are picketing out the front, because with the pit barred there is nothing else they can do,” White said.

The dispute relates to current pay, with “the workers having not seen a pay rise in two years,” he told MINING DAILY.

“These miners are currently the lowest paid in the district.”

White went on to say that Xstrata is embroiled in similar pay disputes at a number of its other coal mines, giving Mulga and its Mudgee operations as an example.

“Wherever pay agreements are yet to be finalised, Xstrata is attacking them,” White added.

The union states that it had taken Xstrata to court to get negotiations back to the bargaining table.

However, Xstrata released a statement saying “the CFMEU’s decision to continue to take strike action at the Tahmoor mine during negotiations for a new Enterprise Agreement (EA) is not in the long term interest of our employees or the viability of the operation,” Xstrata general manager western and southern operations, Dan Clifford, said.

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