Qld coal miners rolling week of strikes
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 | 00:00
A week of rolling strikes has been called in another Queensland coal mine as 10-month negotiations over a new enterprise agreement stall.
The action follows a breakdown in a 10-month negotiation over pay and conditions at Wesfarmers' Curragh operations near Blackwater, west of Rockhampton.
The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) says the company has tried to deny workers their legal right to take industrial action, has not ensured housing at Blackwater for full-time workers and used a sign-on wage increase to lure workers into giving up key entitlements.
The union says Wesfarmers has also set targets for bonuses which historically have seldom been reached.
The CFMEU's Stephen Smyth says unions at the mine have been committed to negotiations for 10 months despite the agreement having expired in January.
Mr Smyth said Fair Work Australia recently rejected Wesfarmers' assertion that industrial action was illegal under the expired agreement.
'Then the company offered sign-on bonuses for an offer that makes taking any protected industrial action in the future illegal,' he said in a statement.
Rolling stoppages will be held across different shifts at the Curragh site between June 18 and 24.
Wesfarmers said a running commentary in the media would not be in the best interests of negotiations and it would continue to talk directly to the single bargaining unit representing the unions involved.
CFMEU members at six Bowen Basin mines run by BHP-Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) have also been taking industrial action over a new industrial agreement.
Industry sources say a week-long strike in those mines last month cost $114 million in lost production.
Source: Sky News
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