Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) vice president Glenn Power has told MINING DAILY that negotiations with Peabody Energy over the long-running industrial dispute at the North Goonyella mine have been postponed until later today.
When contacted this morning, Power said the talks for a new enterprise bargaining agreement were due to get underway at 10am (Queensland time).
“However the Peabody representatives have just told us their flights have been delayed,” he said.
“So negotiations will probably not get underway until sometime this afternoon.”
The dispute over the new agreement has being going for more than a year and culminated last week with the lockout of nearly 300 striking workers.
According to Power, the workers are now camped along Mackay’s Airport Road in order to get their message across to the public.
“Peabody has made an application to have the existing agreement terminated and that will be heard by the Fair Work commission today,” he said.
“The company has been chasing a Work Choices-style agreement that looks to erode existing conditions and provisions.
“The latest trick of terminating the existing agreement is another part of this process.
“All we can do now is try to get the message out about how aggressive and arrogant this company is.”
Power also said the company was becoming increasingly aggressive in its dealings with the Union.
“They are pulling out tricks at all stops and it appears they are trying to employ the union busting tactics that are used over in the United States,” he said.
According to Power, the Union was still optimistic that an acceptable outcome could be achieved.
“We have gone to the table in good faith to try and find a resolution,” he said.
“We have made compromises and concessions the whole way through the negotiations.
“Our members are only trying to maintain their existing conditions of employment.”