Workers United at Xstrata coal mine

More than one hundred miners returned to work at Xstrata’s United Colliery in the Hunter Valley this morning, concluding a strike that began last Thursday morning.

More than one hundred miners are believed to have returned to work at Xstrata’s United Colliery in the Hunter Valley this morning, concluding a strike that began last Thursday.

When contacted by MINING DAILY this morning, the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) was waiting final confirmation that the strike had ended, but was not aware of any plans to continue.

The workers aimed to pressure the company into including several terms and conditions in a new enterprise agreement, the CFMEU said in a statement last week.

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.

According to CFMEU spokesperson Robin Williams, the miners are entitled to an agreement that guarantees re-employment when the operation re-opens.

“Xstrata continually tell us that we are good, hard workers, yet they will not entertain a job security clause in the agreement,” he said.

“We have been sitting at the negotiating table with the company for three months attempting to reach a settlement for a new enterprise agreement.

“The company have said that the current offer to settle an agreement is their final offer, but the miners will not accept it.”

The miners also want the pay rates to be on par with other mines it the area, redundancy payments and transparent bonuses.

According to the union, Xstrata promised in June to investigate the possibility of alternative work for displaced miners at other mines in the district.

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