German Creek miners at the picket line at Camm Park in Middlemount.
German Creek miners at the picket line at Camm Park in Middlemount. Lucy Smith

EXCLUSIVE: 90 jobs forced out at Bowen Basin coal mine

MINING giant Anglo American plans to make 90 workers forcibly redundant at its German Creek mine.

About 140 employees at the coal mine, near Middlemount, have been striking over Enterprise Bargaining Agreement negotiations since August 19.

An Anglo spokeswoman said the decision had been made to "address a challenging commercial environment and unplanned delays to production".

"Despite the recent increase in coal prices the proposal to permanently park a full pre-strip circuit is considered to be the best option to ensure the long-term viability of the operation," the spokeswoman said.

"If the proposal proceeds following consultation, Anglo American is proposing to conduct a forced redundancy process which will result in a headcount reduction of 90 roles across the site."

The company's HR department sent letters to staff Wednesday afternoon.

The letter said about 60 production roles, 10 maintenance roles and 20 CHPP, or wash plant, roles would be affected.

A question and answer sheet was included in the letter.

In response to the question "Are you doing this because of the protected industrial action that the CFMEU has taken?" the letter said "No".

"Capcoal has reviewed the current Mine Plan because of an unplanned delay. From this review a proposal to park equipment is being considered," it read.

"The reasons for the unplanned delay are not relevant to our considerations regarding the option that might be implemented in response to this delay."

CFMEU district vice president Glenn Power first heard the news at 3.40pm today. He said he believed the redundancies were in response to the workers' strike.

"It demonstrates their unwillingness to bargain in good faith - this is obviously an industrial tactic," he said.

"The only way you can call it is the way you see it - this is a disgraceful tactic that they're using to be able to forcibly retrench people that they may believe are outspoken.

"It's an absolutely disgraceful attack on our members."

Workers at the mine have been negotiating on an EBA since April 2014.

Mr Power said Anglo had been bringing in labour hire workers to keep mine operations going since the industrial action started last month.

"It clearly demonstrates the greed of these multinational companies on the back of coal price increases that are continually being announced," he said.

If the proposals go ahead, the redundancies could take place from mid-October.

The company will meet with affected employees and representatives on Friday.



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