Week long strike at Curragh coal mine

Mining unions have announced a week of rolling industrial action at Wesfarmers Curragh coal mine.

The CFMEU has stated that it will continuing strike action until Curragh management agrees to its pay and work condition demands.

It comes after more than ten months of negotiations with the miner.

According to CFMEU district president Steve Smyth the union says it will not back down on a number of points, especially housing arrangements.

Smyth went on to say the miner has blocked efforts to reach a resolution.

"Workers are faced with a Catch-22 in trying to negotiate with Wesfarmers," he explained.

"The company has tried to claim workers are operating under the expired agreement and therefore have no right to strike.

"Then the company offers sign-on bonuses for an offer that makes taking any protected industrial action in the future illegal."

Smyth added that the strikes will begin next week until an agreement is reached.

"All we want is a fair deal, for them to sit down, listen to what our members want and bring this potential dispute to an end as well.

"These agreements come around every three or four years and our members get the opportunity … to push for a replacement agreement which enables to set them up for the coming years."

It comes as the long running industrial dispute at BMA's nearby coal mines continues and fellow miner Xstrata is forced to negotiate with the CFMEU at its Ulan mine in NSW, the Australian reports.

The Curragh mine itself faced difficulty this time last year after heavy rains and floods hit the mine, forcing production levels down.

 

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