• Miner wants workplace agreement axed for more ‘efficient’ terms
Miner wants workplace agreement axed for more ‘efficient’ terms
12 Oct, 2018, 1 Comment

Summary: Wollongong Coal is trying to terminate its workplace agreement for the Russell Vale colliery so if it restarts mining there, it will be able to employ a workforce on more “efficient” terms.....

The miner has applied to the Fair Work Commission to terminate the deal, which was due to expire in 2015, but with opposition from the mineworkers union a hearing was held in Sydney on Wednesday.

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) District Vice-President Bob Timbs said Wollongong Coal (WCL) had already replaced the permanent workforce at its Wongawilli mine with casual labour-hire workers.

“Wollongong Coal is on a mission to restart the Russell Vale mine using low-paid casual workers rather than a permanent workforce,” Mr Timbs said. “If they have their way they will be running their mines with no permanent workers at all.”

There are no employees at Russell Vale who would be affected, WCL’s Brian Almeida told the Commission in a statutory declaration.

But it it were to ramp up work again, WLC does not want to be bound by the terms of the workplace agreement.

“Even if the colliery were to obtain approval to permit the recommencement of operations in the future, which is speculative, the applicant would not be able to justify to the company’s investors and shareholders to recommence operations under the terms of the agreement which are inefficient … and do not support productivity,” Mr Almeida said.

Mr Timbs said when mining ceased at Russell Vale in 2015, WCL told those workers made forcibly redundant that they “would be the first ones to be re-employed at the mine when production restarted”.


Ben Langford illawarramercury.com.au 11/10/2018

  • MyPassion

    Leigh Willyams
    13 Oct, 2018

    If the workplace agreement is lost, the workers will lose for the rest of their working lives. Rio Tinto workers lost their workplace agreement and they are one of the lowest paid mine workers in the Pilbara. 2018 the company made over 7 billion and the workers got a 10% cut on their bonus. A Rio fixed plant operator bonus is approx 4,750 net, a FMG bonus is approx 14,000 net so who do you want to work for. Rio cheats it’s workers every year while management eats the cream $$$. There is absolutely no way you will ever be able to negotiate a pay rise for you and family. Your pay is linked to the CPI and you spend all year loosing money then get a rise 3 months after the start of the year then spend the rest of the year loosing it. It is no wonder RioTinto workers are joining the unions in droves, all because of a management driven by power and greed and the shareholder. Even when the company has done so well it’s the workers who runs the plants and pits who management looks at to cheat and steal wages. No money, no future that’s the Rio way

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