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Workers at Xstrata’s Ulan Coal project north of Sydney went on strike for 24 hours on the weekend after learning several electrical staff had been dismissed.
Employees say they stopped work because of concerns there would not be enough electrical staff to run the mine safely.
Workers say they were also angry over roster changes at Ulan that had already seen several workers leave.
Construction, Forestry, Mining, and Energy Union NSW southwest president Andy Honeysett said employees had been read a statement this week suggesting Xstrata would be taking legal action over the strikes.
This morning an Xstrata spokesperson told Australian Mining strikes had taken place but said a decision to launch legal action had not yet been made.
“We can confirm unprotected industrial action was taken on Sunday resulting in interruptions to the Ulan business for a 24 hour period. All operations have subsequently resumed,” they said.
“The unprotected industrial action was in breach of the Enterprise Agreement and Contract of Employment and is considered illegal under the Fair Work Act.”
Xstrata said it understood the strikes to have occurred in “response to disciplinary action taken to address a serious act of misconduct”.
“The Company views this unprotected industrial action very seriously and is assessing the situation and has yet to determine what action may be taken. No action has been taken to date,” it said.