Curragh North Coal Mine.
Curragh North Coal Mine. Contributed

200 face pre-Christmas sacking at Curragh Mine at Blackwater

ABOUT 200 people employed at Curragh Mine by Golding Contractors are facing an uncertain holiday period.

Their uncertainty comes after Wesfarmers Curragh decided to conclude its overburden removal contract with Golding Contractor Pty Ltd, on December 13.

Wesfarmers recently restructured operations at the mine.

Calls to Golding and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union representative for Curragh Mine went unanswered yesterday.

However, it was confirmed the Golding workforce at the Curragh Mine was about 200 people.

Wesfarmers Curragh general manager Craig McCabe said the decision was taken due to the continuing pressure on the industry from low coal prices, high input costs and the strong Australian dollar.

"When we announced the changes at Curragh back in early October, we said there would be a reduction in the use of labour hire and contractors at the mine, and while we have been very pleased with the Golding's performance, the reality is that we needed to make some significant changes to our operations to remain competitive in the current market.

"This is part of a range of measures we are taking at the mine which includes a reduction in contract labour hire, roster changes for some employees and a limited shut down for some mining operations over Christmas," Mr McCabe said.

Curragh advises that it will meet all its coal sale contracts for both export coal and domestic thermal coal.

Last week, it was announced there would be about 30 jobs axed from Anglo American's Grasstree mine.

Rio Tinto's Blair Athol mine will be closed by December, while the Norwich Park mine at Dysart closed in May with about 100 employees opting to take voluntary redundancies.

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