“Jewel” still the problem
Miner Glencore and the CFMEU settle for a single front battle
Wednesday 13 December 2017
Glencore and mining union the CFMEU have ended their multi-front industrial battle this week - with new Enterprise Agreements reached on all coal mines in NSW.
In the last six months, more than 1400 NSW mine workers have intermittently taken strike action at the Bulga, Glendell, Liddell and Mangoola mines as well as the Ravensworth coal preparation plant. Like Queensland, the disputes were over the proposed conditions of a new Enterprise Agreement.
However this week settlement was reached in the Hunter Valley, but despite the breakthrough, the CFMEU’s Chris Brodsky says it's made no difference in Queensland where the battle rages on.
“I am afraid not,” the CFMEU’s Chris Brodsky told Shift Miner.
“The irritating thing is that in NSW, Glencore has agreed on all those mine sites to a new EA which has 98% of the conditions [from the previous EA] rolled over.
“We offered that twelve months ago, but I haven't seen any sign in Queensland that they are any closer to compromising.
“Those mines in NSW are all thermal coal mines with contracts to power stations, that’s why they didn’t pull the lock-out lever.
“But Oaky North is a Metallurgical coal mine - their jewel in the crown - which is why they are treating things differently, and I don't have any hope of a resolution before Christmas.”
180 unionised miners at the Oaky North Mine have been locked out of their workplace for more than 100 days in response to earlier strike action which Glencore says cost them 28-thousand hours of labour at the mine.
According to the CFMEU, short of a resolution between the two parties, the only thing that can end the lockout now is a Federal Government intervention or a new ruling by the Fair Work Commissioner. They say it's now the longest lockout of employees in Australian history.