Glencore's Oaky Creek Mine.
Glencore's Oaky Creek Mine. Contributed

STRIKE: Bowen Basin workers walk off the job

MINERS at Oaky Creek has a strike on Wednesday as the CFMEU ramps up industrial action.

CFMEU mining and energy division district vice president Chris Brodsky said workers would not allow Glencore, the owner of the mine, to attack miners entitlements and risk safety.

"Glencore is asking workers to sacrifice their pay and conditions while also stripping them of basic rights, such as certainty about rostered shifts and the right to be represented when a worker is stood down," Mr Brodsky said.

"Taking workers' pay, job security and shift certainty off them and creating an unsafe workplace is totally unacceptable and the union won't stand for it.

But a Glencore spokesperson said the company has rejected claims and are"disappointed with the action of workers".

"Glencore is continuing to negotiate with the nominated employee representatives on a new Enterprise Agreement (EA) at our Oaky Creek North coal mine," the spokesperson said. 

"We reject claims made publicly by the CFMEU over the proposed 2017 EA and are disappointed by the industrial action our employees have chosen to take today."

Mr Brodsky said workers will be demanding a better deal from Glencore.

"Workers do not take industrial action lightly, but we have no other option given the company's negotiating position would cut real wages, remove their rights at work and compromise safety," he said.

The CFMEU has noted some of the conditions that its believes are unreasonable;

  • Removing employee's right to workplace representation when Stood Down and for disputes;
  • Insisting on being able to unilaterally change rosters with no arbitration
  • Exclusion of clauses which provide safety for workers including working in the 'muster area'.
  • Insistence on a reduction in real wages
  • Increasing costs for accommodation while cutting real pay
  • Removal of Arbitration in the Personal Leave clause.
  • Inadequate Natural Disaster Arrangements.
  • Inadequate Severance and Retrenchment arrangements.
  • Removing worker representation for Disputes


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