Published: 28 Nov 2016
Today the CFMEU Mining and Energy Division will hold meetings with Anglo American over 33 permanent local workers from the German Creek mine having been made forcibly redundant since Friday afternoon, in a move by the company to cut permanent jobs and maintain labour hire contractors.
The dismissal notices were emailed to the shocked workers. CFMEU M&E Queensland District President, Stephen Smyth said the company is clearly trying to pick off union members following an ongoing industrial battle over rights and conditions at the mine.
“Out of 33 permanent local workers, 32 of those are workers who had been on strike. Anglo cannot tell us this isn’t an exercise to pick off workers who only wanted certainty over job security,” said Mr Smyth.
“Anglo has advised their labour hire and contract employees that they will not be affected by this round of redundancies. This attack on workers will affect dozens of families and is a blow to the local community. It is a clear step towards prioritising casualisation of employment in German Creek.
“What’s happening at German Creek is a symptom of what’s happening across the mining sector in its worst form: the company delayed the bargaining process for over two years, refused to negotiate fair working conditions, then picks off the workers who were vocal about their rights.
“This latest blow follows Anglos’s refusal to requests by workers and families to engage with the community. Anglo has consistently refused to hold community meetings to discuss the future of workers in the mine and now the company resorts to sacking permanent workers by email less than a month before Christmas.
“Many of these families have children already enrolled in local schools. These redundancies will affect more than workers, it’s a blow for their families and the whole community.
“Mining companies have a social responsibility to the communities they operate in. With these forced redundancies, Anglo shows the utmost disregard for the workers and contempt for their families and the Middlemount community who have served them for years.”
The CFMEU will be holding meetings with workers who have already been notified of their redundancies and Anglo today. The CFMEU will be seeking legal action to appeal Anglo’s decision.