Miners at the picket line at Camm Park in Middlemount.
Miners at the picket line at Camm Park in Middlemount. Lucy Smith

Company says mining job adverts 'routine', not 'thuggery'

ADVERTISEMENTS on an employment website have mining union CFMEU making claims that Anglo American is hiring strike-breakers in the midst of industrial action.

About 140 workers at the company's German Creek mine complex in Middlemount have been on strike for almost four weeks over Enterprise Bargaining Agreement negations.

They've held daily peaceful protests at Camm Park at Middlemount.

This week, labour hire company WorkPac posted an advertisement on employment website Seek offering casual or vacation 'Dump Truck Operator Roles in Middlemount'.

The ad said the jobs were "at a mine site in Middlemount".

When the Daily Mercury phoned WorkPac, a spokeswoman said the jobs were at Lake Lindsay mine, which is part of the German Creek complex.

Another WorkPac advertisement, posted the same day, called for applicants for a management accountant position, with a start date of September 19. The ad stated the successful applicant would be hired for "initially 2 months" with a "possibility of extension".

But an Anglo American spokeswoman said the call for new staff was routine.

"As a normal part of running our operations our supplementary labour providers are routinely advertising and seeking additional operators to cover for vacancies created through normal turnover, resignations and retirements," she said.

"Despite the decision to strike, not all production employees are taking part and the mine will continue to operate during this and any planned future strike action."

CFMEU district president Stephen Smyth said Anglo American was using "mercenary" tactics and "corporate thuggery" and advertising strikers' jobs.

Workers at German Creek mine are asking for nine claims to be included in their EBA.

Negotiations have been ongoing since 2013.

Those include the removal of a casual clause "to ensure secure, steady jobs for workers and to stop the casualisation of the permanent workforce" and a transparent process for worker redundancy.

Workers are also seeking inclusion of coal industry standard for accident pay and compliance with Coal Mining Safety and Health Act & Regulations regarding physical and psychological impairment.

Mr Smyth said the strike, now in its fourth week, was the longest Bowen Basin mines had seen since 2012.

"We've had BHP, that was probably six or seven weeks' strike action... that was all seven mines," he said.

"The thing with strike action, it's the last thing that employees will do. They try to negotiate. It's the last thing they do when the employers are just dogmatic in their approach."

Mr Smyth said German Creek miners would continue to strike until Anglo American changed its stance on EBA negotiations.

At the end of last month, an Anglo spokesman said the workers were "taking this action in light of the realities of the extremely tough market conditions".



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