Anglo American: union's conditions "unrealistic and reckless”

Workers and supporters are today expected to protest outside Anglo American headquarters in Brisbane following agreement negotiations at German Creek mine.
Workers and supporters are today expected to protest outside Anglo American headquarters in Brisbane following agreement negotiations at German Creek mine. Luka Kauzlaric

UPDATE 8AM: ANGLO American has released a media statement in response to ongoing industrial issues, including at a Central Queensland site.

The company has been negotiating a new agreement with 142 workers at Middlemount's German Creek mine for two and a half years.

In the statement, the company says it "has repeatedly advised the CFMEU that the viability of certain Australian coal operations is under great threat”.

"Despite some recent improvements in coal prices, economic conditions remain volatile and the Capcoal Open Cut continues to be a marginal business,” they wrote.

"However, the union has continued to push for changed conditions in the Enterprise Agreement that are simply unrealistic and reckless.

READ: CFMEU fears armed guards will be used to intimidate striking miners

"No business can commit to business constraints that limit the company's ability to compete in a global industry, especially with the current cost pressures, and it is disappointing that the CFMEU places the viability of the mine at greater risk by trying to force unrealistic claims in the workplace.

"Anglo American will continue to negotiate in good faith - but at no stage will it bow to a set of conditions that are both economically unfeasible and so restrictive that they limit the operation's ability to be competitive.

"As we advised on Friday, the company is extremely concerned at the behaviour of certain people on the CFMEU Picket Line.

"Whilst Anglo American respects each employee's right to participate in the protected industrial action at Capcoal Open Cut mine, a mine employee was injured while exercising her legal right to attend work at our mine site.

"The mine worker is being treated by specialists for injuries to her eyes caused by a laser light aimed at her by people gathered at the Camm Park picket line.

READ: Mine worker injured by laser at Capcoal mine

"Two other workers were also targeted by the laser lights.

"Anglo American is treating the matter very seriously and we are determined to protect the legal right of our employees not participating in the protected industrial action to attend work without intimidation or harassment.

"We again call on the CFMEU to assist in identifying those responsible for this unlawful and unacceptable behaviour on their picket line.

"Anglo American will ensure our people and property are safe, in line with appropriate and lawful measures.

"We again call on the CFMEU to take all steps to prevent any further unsafe or intimidating behaviour on their picket line or in the broader Middlemount community.”

6.30AM: HUNDREDS of coal mine workers and their supporters are today expected to protest at Anglo American headquarters in Brisbane over agreements at a Central Queensland mine.

This action comes after more than two and a half years of negotiations and eight weeks of protected industrial action between the company and 142 workers at Middlemount's German Creek mine.

Since the previous agreement expired in April 2014, the workers and the CFMEU have engaged in 17 meetings with Anglo American to resolve the issue.

Workers decided to take ongoing protected industrial action from August 19.

The company recently announced 83 workers would be made redundant this month.

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