Locked out again
Oaky North hostilities about to enter fifth month with no end it sight
Wednesday 23 August 2017
Hostilities between the CFMEU and Glencore at the Oaky North mine are showing no signs of abating, with Glencore yesterday locking striking workers out for another 14 days.
The CFMEU says the 190 striking workers have now been locked out of the mine for more than 50 days over the last three months. However, Glencore says it's within its rights to take the action under the Fair Work act.
The industrial dispute reached new levels a fortnight ago when CFMEU Boss Tony Maher called Glencore the: “poster child for corporate greed and trickle-down economics in Australia today".
In response, Glencore accused the CFMEU of 1970’s style “bully boy” tactics and “disgraceful” behaviour on the picket line.
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 July, Glencore said the CFMEU strike action had so far cost them 28-thousand hours of labour at the mine.
In May the CFMEU’s Chris Brodsky said 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.”
In its most recent statement, Glencore claims the average salary for permanent employees at Oaky North is about $180,000 a year, and increased around 10% between 2011 and 2016, once wages were adjusted for inflation.
They also dismissed CFMEU claims that they had an agenda to make everyone casual.