Miners continue campaign for better work conditions at Glencore mines

Industrial action is continuing across Glencore's mines in the Upper Hunter as a dispute between the company and its workers on their new enterprise agreements is showing no resolution.

Rolling stoppages have occurred and are expected to take place at individual mines in the coming days and weeks as disgruntled workers push for better conditions from the company including a reduction in the size of their existing casual workforce and improved redundancy packages.

Last week the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) organsied an ‘aggregate’ 48 hours strike across the seven Glencore mines with a meeting held at the Singleton Showground on Wednesday that was attended by an estimated 1000 workers.

CFMEU, Northern district president Peter Jordan said at this stage there was no intention to hold further aggregate strikes similar to the one held last week.

But he said members and workers at individual mines have and are planning to take their own actions.

For example at Ravensworth Open Cut on Sunday the employees stopped work for 24 hours and they are planning further two hours stoppages this week.

A similar stoppage is planned for this coming Sunday and for the Monday to Friday workers they will strike for eight hours this Friday.

Mangoola mine near Denman is also expected to be hit with rolling stoppages.

“We would like the company to continue to negotiate with us and their workers on a better outcome regarding the high number of casuals they employ and improvements on the base redundancy package they have offered in their agreements,” he said.

“However, management will be asking their Ravensworth and Glendell employees to vote on an enterprise agreement in early July and we do not support or recommend that our members accept the agreement in its current form.

“If the company refuses to negotiate with us then we may have to look at further aggregate actions.” The use of casual workers is one of the main grievances for the union with Mr Jordan saying at Ravensworth and Bulga open cuts they account for 50 per cent of the workforce.

“Wherever possible we want to see casual contractors replaced by permanent employees,” he said.

“Plus we have asked for redundancy packages based on average hours worked not on a 38 hour/week  basis.”

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