Glencore's Oaky Creek Mine.
Photo Contributed
Glencore's Oaky Creek Mine. Photo Contributed Contributed

Mining company says union's behaviour is shameful

A MINING giant has hit back at a union and its allegations against the mining company during an industrial dispute, saying the unions' behaviour is shameful.

Glencore has hit back at the CFMEU and its allegations in relation to ongoing industrial relations matter at the Oaky North mine.

The union attacked the company this morning when it announced miners will take further protected industrial action next week.

"The CFMEU is continuing to mislead its members and the public with more false claims, this time in relation to contractors during a period of industrial action at Oaky North,” a Glencore spokeswoman said.

"The union's behaviour is shameful and does its members (our employees) - who pay the union officials' wages - a great disservice.

"It is disrespectful to our employees, as they are not being supplied with truthful information by union officials or employee representatives at a time when they are seeking to understand the detail of our proposed changes to the Enterprise Agreement.

"We have respected our workforce's legal right to take protected action during the negotiation of a new EA and we have a legal right to run our business during this action.   

"We have already publicly rejected a large number of inaccurate CFMEU claims in relation to the current EA negotiations and provided the facts, none of which the union has subsequently challenged.” 

12.20pm: OAKY North miners will take further protected industrial action next week.

CFMEU Mining and Energy Division District Vice President Chris Brodsky said the mining company proposed an agreement that would remove workers' access to workplace representation in some cases, among a range of other issues.

However, Glencore said employee's rights to workplace representatives are enshrined in the Fair Work Act.

"So far there has been little movement from Glencore and they are continuing to insist including unreasonable terms in any replacement enterprise agreement,” said Mr Brodsky.

"The CFMEU now understands that Glencore is attempting to pressure contractors and workers to perform the work of the employees that are taking lawful industrial action.”

Mr Brodsky said he had received complaints directly from employees engaged by contractor HD Mining that had been threatened, including with termination of their employment.

"The CFMEU is aware that threats have been directed at workers and contractors in circumstances where those workers have worked at the Mine performing other duties on an ongoing basis.

"Pressure has been directed at those workers to perform the work of those on lawful industrial action. That is a deplorable situation and should it continue the CFMEU will look at all available options to hold Glencore, and contracting companies, to account.”

Mr Brodsky said threatening behaviour was unacceptable and Glencore should take a good hard look at the way they treat all workers.

"Workers should not be threatened for not performance work that would ordinarily be performed by those standing up for their rights.

"This is just another example of poor treatment by Glenore of its workforce. Contracting firms such as HD Mining should not allow themselves to be complicit in this behaviour by Glencore.

"It's time the company agreed to provide workers with the basic conditions and entitlements being sought by the union.”

The Morning Bulletin has contacted Glencore for a response.

The company so far has provided the following information:

. EA hourly rates at Oaky North from 2011-2016 have increased by 21.26%. In the same period, CPI has increased by only 10.22%.

. The proposed EA provides for an annual review of remuneration based on business performance and market conditions. This still offers employees a wage review but does hinge this to business performance.

. This business-based wage review has been agreed to by the CFMEU at other Australian coal operations.

. Accommodation costs for OCN employees have not been increased for approximately 23 years.

. Employees presently receive full accommodation and meals for $24 per week or $15.50 for a 3 or 4 bedroom home including all services except power.

. We propose to increase the weekly charges to $30 for a house or duplex and $48 for Single Person's Accommodation - which includes all meals. However, these costs may now be offset through salary sacrifice arrangements not available under the current EA.

. These costs still remain lower than those at many other Queensland coal mines.

. Under our proposed Enterprise Agreement, an employee receives $5,700 for each completed year of service with the minimum payment being six weeks or $11,400, regardless of the period of service.

. Employees also are eligible for up to $8,000 for reimbursement of relocation expenses.

. We propose no material change to this in the Enterprise Agreement.

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