Unsafe mine rumours not true: CFMEU

Rumours that operations at Gujarat NRE’s two coal mines ceased were quickly stamped out yesterday by both the company and the CFMEU.

The Illawarra Mercury fielded reports from workers who stated only a skeleton crew were permitted underground amid safety concerns.

However, CFMEU south-western district vice-president Bob Timbs said the union was confident both Russell Vale and Wongawilli mines were safe to work in.

He stated that an industry inspector had been monitoring the mines weekly.

"There's certainly no safety concerns that have been brought to the attention of the union," Timbs said.

Timbs also confirmed that hardship payments of around $1200 had been made to CFMEU members, with other employees set to receive the money shortly.

Workers for the company have not been paid wages owed to them for over three weeks, with Gujarat previously telling employees cash flows should improve after a  shareholder meeting on October 16 when a takeover bid by Jindal Steel and Power is predicted.

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