CFMEU - Mining and Energy Division
Union loses another giant with the passing of Bill ‘Taffy’ Smale, former Miners Federation General Secretary
Our Union has lost another giant with the passing of former Miners Federation General Secretary Bill (Taffy) Smale yesterday (13 Feb) aged 93.
Taffy, as he was known to all his friends and Comrades, rose through the ranks as a Lodge and District President to be elected as General Secretary of the Miners Federation in 1973, a position he held until his retirement at the end of 1982. Throughout those years he was involved in some of the most pivotal struggles and campaigns that won many of the conditions and benefits we enjoy today.
The strength of solidarity that binds mineworkers together in challenging times is well illustrated by our CFMEU Mount Thorley Warkworth Lodge’s support for their stricken workmate Troy Miles and his family.
In a major breakthrough for vulnerable mineworkers employed by labour hire contractors, our Union has won major pay and entitlement benefits for Delta workers at South 32’s Appin mine and set new benchmark standards.
Today CFMEU Mining and Energy Division wrote to Premier Palaszczuk and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Anthony Lynham seeking Government intervention as local Central Queensland coal workers are again locked out of jobs. BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance is seeking to fill vacancies at its Peak Downs and Saraji mines with labour hire fly-in-fly-out workers from Townsville.
The CFMEU today pledged to use all its resources to fight “a shocking” decision by the Fair Work Commission on Friday that would cost tens of thousands of coal industry employees hundreds of millions in lost earnings.
CFMEU National President Tony Maher said that the Full Bench Commission ruling caps coal industry employees’ redundancy entitlements at a maximum 15-years of service. “It would take hundreds of millions of dollars out of the pockets of coal mine employees to fatten the bottom lines of some of the most profitable and powerful mining companies in the world”.
Our Union is backing a determined fightback by severely exploited labour hire contract coal mineworkers in our NSW South West District. With the backing of their families, the labour hire mineworkers have already demonstrated their resolve with two major public protests involving over 1,000 supporters taking part in the town of Appin and the city of Wollongong.
On the 70th anniversary of the historic Miners Federation campaign to eradicate the deadly Black Lung disease from Australia’s coal industry, our CFMEU has welcomed the Queensland Government’s introduction of new laws to tackle its re-emergence.
Just as our Union led the campaign in 1947 against Black Lung, today we are leading the charge to not only finally eradicate the deadly disease but fighting for justice for the victims of Black Lung and other dust related diseases.
The Fair Work Commission has failed in in its duty to consider the circumstances of workers in its decision to terminate the Loy Yang power plant enterprise bargaining agreement, CFMEU Mining and Energy Victorian District Secretary, Geoff Dyke has said.
The Fair Work Commission yesterday scrapped the existing EBA at Loy Yang power plant, which has now reverted to the Electrical Industry Award 2010.
Mr Dyke said that workers would be at an extreme disadvantage under this award, forcing workers to accept severe pay cuts and insecure work conditions.
Our Union is saddened by the passing of distinguished retired Northern District miner Frank McCarron last Saturday.
Frank was a former Miners Federation Central Councillor (serving at the same time as General Secretary Andrew Vickers), a member of our Union’s Northern District Board of Management and President of the Liddell Miners Lodge.
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