190 locked out
Union links lock out to planned mine closure and a new agenda for Tieri
Wednesday 26 July 2017
Glencore has locked out more than 190 striking for eight days at Oaky Creek North mine and brought in casuals as their battle with the CFMEU continues.
At the heart of the dispute that has been running since May, is a disagreement over a clause in the existing EA which governs CFMEU access and representation of workers at the mine.
In a statement, Glencore said the lockout is approved under the Fair Work Legislation and that CFMEU strike action has so far cost them 28-thousand hours of labour at the mine.
The CFMEU’s Chris Brodsky, says they were forced to take strike action after a deal offered to Glencore was rejected.
“Three weeks ago we offered the company a zero percent pay rise for the two years of the agreement, with an automatic rollover, “ he said.
“And the company knocked that back, and put their document out and it was voted down 99% by 100% of the workforce.
“They have worked under the current agreement for two years, and it has been expired for two years.
"The guys have made them a lot of money under it, and it's never been an issue and all of a sudden that’s not good enough.
“What a lot of people don't understand here is that Oaky Creek number 1, which is the sister pit to Oaky North is going to shut in October then we have only Oaky North left.
“We have a very sneaky suspicion that the only reason the company is doing this is to build toward getting rid of everyone and having a contract workforce and turning Tieri into one of the largest camps in Central Queensland."
The CFMEU is also using the industrial action to draw attention to what it told the ABC is an unconscionable use of casual workers, giving the example of a labour hire firm they claimed had increased its labour hire workforce from just 900 to more than 3500 in just five years.
“Contract labour was only ever used as supplementary labour,” Mr Brodsky told the ABC.
“What they are doing now is they have clicked on to ... why don't we get these casuals, we’ll pay them through a labour hire company at $45 an hour, and hang on we don't have to keep them on for a short period, we will just abuse them for as long as we want.
“They get no entitlements, they don't get any annual leave, they don't get any sick leave, they get nothing, they get an hourly rate struck out, and they can give an hours notice, and they are gone.”
A similar lockout occurred just over a month ago. However, a meeting between the CFMEU and management of the Oaky Creek North Coal mine saw the workers return to work after just two days.