The Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) is hopeful there will be no need for further strikes to pressure Xstrata over United Colliery enterprise agreements, following months of negotiation with the mining giant.
CFMEU spokesperson Robin Williams told MINING DAILY yesterday that union officials had met with the company, but were still awaiting an official response.
“We are currently awaiting a response, but at this stage, they have not changed their position,” he said.
“We are hopeful that we will not need to engage in any further action, but given the mine’s small remaining lifespan, our members find themselves in a fairly delicate position.
“The company has the ability dig in and knows it probably does not have to cave in.”
Regarding Xstrata’s reaction to the strike, Williams said the company’s officials did not offer any body language one way or the other.
Both Williams and Xstrata Coal’s communications manager, James Rickards, were unavailable for comment when contacted by MINING DAILY this morning.
The miners returned to work early yesterday morning, after beginning the strike last Thursday.
Xstrata will close the mine next year, but plans to resume mining on the same lease in 2012.
Around 110 miners will be made redundant by the initial shutdown.
The miners are calling for guaranteed re-employment when the mine re-opens in a new enterprise agreement.
They also want redundancy payments, transparent bonuses and pay rates on par with other mines it the area.