Voting with their feet
Wednesday 01 February 2017
After years of feeling too vulnerable to risk their position, miners are starting to move between jobs in search of better rosters, pay and job security.
One miner told Shift Miner that nearly a third of his crew had left for new jobs.
“We lost six on our crew alone last week,” he said.
“Most of them have gone to other jobs in the Bowen Basin, although some of the positions were offered as FIFO out of Townsville, but I think they were labour hire positions.
“The three big reasons people are moving is because they want a more permanent role, there is more money on offer, or they can get a better roster or can fly to work rather than drive.”
While the loss of jobs during the downturn is well documented, the loss of pay and conditions and the rise in labour hire has been less obvious to people outside the industry.
For many employees, working casually in mining was considered better than not working at all, so despite all the complications of only working on a day-to-day basis, they remained.
For many employers, the depressing outlook for coal and gas before June last year meant recruiting new full-time employees was out of the question because they were already losing money or at best break even.
However, as the coal price made its astonishing comeback in 2016, ending the year at record Australian dollar levels, recruitment and labour-hire firm DFP Resources says so too has demand for people.
“Job opportunities have increased 20.5% in 2016,” they said in their December mining and resources job index.
“Permanent vacancies are up 14.7% and temporary and contract roles up 29%.“ Queensland led the way with a 33.9% increase over the year, coal has had the most spectacular growth, with vacancies increasing by 61.7% in 2016.”
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