Oaky North miners strike over pay and conditions
Summary: MINERS at Glencore’s Oaky North Lodge in Queensland went on strike for four hours on Wednesday as part of industrial action protesting the company’s attempts to reduce wages and conditions, according to the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union.....
CFMEU mining and energy division district vice president Chris Brodsky said workers would not let the company attack their entitlements and reduce 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,” 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.”
A Glencore spokesman told Australia’s Mining Monthly: “Glencore is continuing to negotiate with the nominated employee representatives on a new Enterprise Agreement at our Oaky Creek North coal mine.
“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.”
Key issues where Glencore has clashed with the union include removing employee’s right to workplace representation when stood down and for disputes; insisting on being able to unilaterally change rosters with no arbitration; and exclusion of clauses that provide safety for workers including working in the “muster area”.
The company is also insisting on a reduction in real wages, inadequate natural disaster arrangements, and inadequate severance and retrenchment arrangements.
“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,” Brodsky said.