Crib relief roster to go at MTW: 78 jobs will be lost

Workers gathered outside the auditorium before the start of the meeting.
Workers gathered outside the auditorium before the start of the meeting.

UPDATE 6pm:

Yancoal has confirmed it will be reducing its use of contractors at Mount Thorley Warkworth (MTW), following a restructure of its current excavator rosters.

A spokesperson says approximately 78 contractors employed by Programmed Skilled Workforce will be affected by the changes and cease employment at MTW by April 1.

“Our reduction in contractor requirements follows the removal of the crib relief roster established by Rio Tinto, which has proven unnecessary,” the spokesperson says.

“We have worked with Programmed throughout the review and believe they have the appropriate resources in place to assist their employees as they approach the end of the contracted period.”

“While contractors are engaged with an understanding of the uncertainty of continued employment, many of those affected by the change in rosters have been with MTW for several years.”

“We have been assured Programmed Skilled Workforce are actively working to identify alternative employment opportunities throughout the region where possible.”

EARLIER 4pm:

The meeting between contract crib relief haul truck operators at Yancoal's Mount Thorley Warkworth (MTW) mine and Programmed representatives is now in progress.

The Argus spoke to some of the workers making their way into Singleton Diggers who revealed they received text messages on Wednesday afternoon asking them to attend the meeting.

They are speculating the purpose of the meeting is to announce job losses but they say this comes as a “shock” and “a kick in the guts”.

According to the workers, all the contract crib relief across the four crews received the message, including trainees.

The employees are all contracted to Yancoal through Programmed Skilled Workforce at Singleton.

The Argus is awaiting a comment from the labour hire company, but earlier Yancoal confirmed Programmed Skilled Workforce will be meeting with its contractors to discuss the MTW operation this afternoon.

“Following the acquisition, we have conducted a review of the operation and will be implementing changes to current contractor arrangements,” a spokesperson says.

“We will be better placed to provide further information following the meeting. It is important the Programmed management team have an opportunity to speak with their workforce first.”

In April 2017, the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approved the $2.45 billion sale of Rio Tinto’s local operations - MTW and HVO to the chinese miner, Yancoal.

Then in the July, Glencore signed agreements with Yancoal Australia Limited regarding the acquisition of a 49% interest in HVO and to form a Joint Venture (JV) following Yancoal’s acquisition of Coal & Allied (C&A) from Rio Tinto.

This morning concerned workers told us crib relief operators have been a part of MTW operations for over 13 years. The majority of them women, many single with dependent children.

“Within weeks of Yancoal taking possession of the mine from Rio Tinto last September they had wiped the name Coal and Allied (after well over 100 years in the Hunter Valley) from the landscape,” they say. 

“Don't sit back and watch them wipe these workers from the landscape.”

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