70 miners reapply for jobs
THIESS extends its footprint in Bowen basin as miner seeks a better deal on costs
Wednesday 01 March 2017
Around 70 miners will have to reapply for their jobs at Foxleigh mine near Middlemount, following a decision by the new owners to bring in contractors to handle wash plant operations and general mine maintenance.
Middlemount South Chief Operating Officer Scott Graham said the changes would allow them to better manage the fluctuating coal market.
“Since taking over operations at the Foxleigh Mine in late August 2016, it has become clear that we need to make changes now to achieve a lower unit cost of production to keep the mine operating over the long term,” Mr Scott said.
“By implementing these proposed operational changes, we expect to not only achieve this but also make the operation more agile and responsive to a challenging market.”
“Sedgman Contractors and Comiskey Mining Services have been engaged to undertake the CHPP operations and the maintenance and mobile maintenance activities, respectively.”
Middlemount South says any miner who become redundant through the change will receive their full entitlements and be guaranteed an interview with the incoming contractors if they want it. Some miners have chosen to take voluntary redundancy.
However, despite Mr Graham saying they have engaged “extensively” with the CFMEU, the union has released a scathing media release saying there will be a net loss of 70 jobs, and that it is another example of the casualisation of the mining workforce in Queensland.
However, despite numerous attempts, the CFMEU were unable to provide any evidence to Shift Miner that the incoming employees would be employed casually, or that there would be a net loss of jobs in the transition from a miner to contractor workforce.
Comiskey Mining Services Brett Comiskey has not responded to calls from Shift Miner.
From a contract mining services perspective, the move is yet another sign of Thiess’ growing stranglehold in the Bowen basin.
In March last year Thiess parent company CIMIC (formerly known as Leighton Holdings ) launched a successful takeover of Sedgman. In doing so, they inherited Sedgman’s existing work at the Daunia, Coppabella, Dawson, Caval Ridge, Lake Vermont, and Moorvale mines, and this contract will add Foxleigh to that list.
Under its own Thiess banner, CIMIC also has current work contracts at Jellinbah, Dawson South, Lake Vermont, Qcoal, Curragh, Burton, Collinsville, South Walker Creek, Tarong and Lake Vermont mines.
That list could get longer if last week's takeover bid by CIMIC for CQ mining contractor McMahon is successful.
However that bid has yet to be accepted by shareholders, with the board of McMahon telling the company’s investors to do nothing while an alternative bid for the business is considered.