CFMEU - Mining and Energy Division
Internationally renowned Black Lung specialist Professor Robert Cohen, from the US, met in Brisbane today with two of the Queensland victims he helped diagnose, Percy Verrall and Steve Mellor. Both are representatives of the Black Lung Victims Group and were to be joined by Keith Stoddart who unfortunately has been hospitalised in Bundaberg for treatment on his disease.
The CFMEU today congratulated the Victorian Government for leading the way in how we respond to the crisis facing many communities like the Latrobe Valley, with the closure of major energy assets like the Hazelwood power station.
CFMEU National President Tony Maher described the Latrobe Valley Worker Transfer Partnership Scheme which includes commitment by Latrobe Valley Power Station Operators, Unions and the Victorian Government, as “a breakthrough in best practice”.
"It's been one-and-a-half years since I was diagnosed with Black Lung.
Looking back on my last photo my wife said look how much I have aged.
I see myself in the mirror every day but didn't notice how far I have gone down hill. I'm coughing up blood most days now and can hardly carry a small pot plant.
Most doctors don't understand this disease.
Workplaces don't want to know. Black Lung victims are put on the surface out of sight.
Workcover doesn't recognize this disease.
Victims have lost their jobs and homes with no money coming in.
The CFMEU Mining and Energy Division said today that the latest case of Black Lung disease in an underground mine in Central Queensland highlights the need for urgent industry action to support victims and families affected. The worker, who wishes to remain unidentified, represents the 19th confirmed case of the disease.
Stephen Smyth, CFMEU M&E Queensland District President said that while the union welcome’s the QLD Government’s Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis Inquiry, the mining industry must take responsibility for the disease and support its victims.
Today the CFMEU Mining and Energy Division slammed Federal Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry for her inaction on promoting secure jobs in her electorate, following the announcement that 70 local permanent workers at the Foxleigh coal mine will be made forcibly redundant by operators Middlemount South, POSCO and Nippon Steel.
CFMEU M&E Queensland District Senior Vice-President Mitch Hughes said local politicians need to do more to stand up for the families who voted them in to represent their interests.
Our Union – through its Lodges and Districts – donates millions of dollars every year to support vital community organisations and services. Among the most sought after are the annual Mine Workers Trust tertiary scholarships that have helped put hundreds of young students from mining and energy families through Universities and other Higher Education institutions over the years.
The CFMEU has repelled another attempt by a shonky labour hire outfit to further lower the bar on rights and conditions in the coal mining industry by exploiting vulnerable contract workers.
In an important win in the Fair Work Commission, our Union successfully appealed against an earlier decision that would have granted Sparta Mining Services Pty Ltd the right to register a ‘national agreement’ that set a new low for labour hire contract workers in the industry, with a wage rate just 4% above the bare Award.
In another major breakthrough for casual labour hire contract coal mineworkers, our Union has won significant pay and entitlement benefits for SCM workers at South 32’s Appin Colliery. It consolidates new benchmark standards set by the Delta workers in their recent breakthrough there against casualisation.
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