CFMEU - Mining and Energy Division
Lack of good faith bargaining forces Curragh workers to strike
Coalmine workers at Wesfarmers Curragh operations will undertake strike action this month to protest management’s refusal to bargain in good faith for a new enterprise agreement.
The Single Bargaining Unit (SBU) of unions representing Curragh workers this week notified the company of their intention to take protected industrial action from June 18-24.
Workers are disappointed with mine management’s failure to enegage in meaningful negotiations leading to a lack of compromise over several key points, including:
- The company’s attempt to deny workers their legal right to take future industrial action;
- Ensuring the supply of available housing at nearby Blackwater for full-time workers;
- Back pay from the expiration of the previous agreement given workers have gone without an increase since July 2010; and,
- Consideration for sick leave and annual leave entitlements; and,
- Management setting unrealistic targets for worker bonuses.
CFMEU District President Stephen Smyth said the SBU - comprising the Miners Union, AMWU and ETU – had been committed to proper negotiations, despite the current Agreement expiring in January this year.
“As it stands workers are faced with a Catch-22 in Wesfarmers’ latest offer,” Mr Smyth said.
“The company refuses to compromise on key asks leaving workers no choice but to take protected industrial action but yet management want to deny workers this legal right in the future.”
Fair Work Australia recently ruled in the SBU’s favour, rejecting Wesfarmers assertion the expired Agreement still applied making any industrial action illegal.
“Workers are also angry that Wesfarmers is paying lip service to good faith bargaining, displaying no desire to even talk properly about resolving basic accommodation, wages and entitlements concerns,” Mr Smyth said.
Late last month workers voted to approve overtime bans and an unlimited number of work stoppages lasting up to 24 hours.
Between June 18-24 workers will take part in rolling stoppages across different shifts and crews.
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