INDUSTRIAL action at Capcoal get's nasty.
Monday 17 October 2016
The strike action at the Capcoal mining complex near Middlemount has taken a militant turn over the weekend, with claims and counterclaims of threats and violence.
According to Miner Anglo American, they have taken an employee to eye specialists in Rockhampton, after she was lasered in the eye by striking workers on the outskirts of Middlemount over the weekend.
"While Anglo American respects each employee's right to participate in the protected industrial action at Capcoal mine, we are extremely concerned and disappointed that this action has today resulted in a female mine employee being injured while exercising her legal right to attend work at our mine site,” they said in a statement.
"The mine worker is being treated by specialists for injuries to her eyes caused by a laser light deliberately aimed at her by people gathered at the Camm Park picket line.
"Anglo American is treating the matter very seriously and taking action through the authorities to prevent any further injuries from happening.
"We are determined to protect the legal right of our employees not participating in the protected industrial action to attend work without intimidation or harassment.”
A day after the incident, the CFMEU released a statement speculating that Anglo American will employ armed security guards to protect their staff and intimidate striking workers and their families.
However, they have not responded to a request by Shift Miner for some evidence that this is likely to happen.
In a strong symbolic gesture, the CFMEU’s has also brought in the giant inflatable “Scabby the Rat” to add a new dimension to the picket line outside Middlemount.
140 workers have been on strike over pay and conditions at Middlemount for more than six weeks.
However, there does not seem to be much scope for a resolution soon, with the CFMEU saying they won’t back down, and Anglo still able to operate the mine using non-striking workers and labour hire.Further, the longer term implications of the fight would appear irrelevant to Anglo, as they want to exit the Australian coal sector altogether, and have started selling their local coal mines.