Strikes and stop work meetings on the cards at mine

STRIKES, stopwork meetings and other industrial action could be on the horizon for workers at Anglo American's Dawson coal mine, west of Gladstone in central Queensland, with two enterprise bargaining offers rejected, including one made just before Christmas.

The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union refused to support either three-year deal which offered workers no pay rise in the first 12 months.

Late last year, Anglo axed 180 jobs from its Dawson operation, including 111 employees of whom 28 went voluntarily.

A further 69 contractors and labour hire workers were also lost.

The Dawson mine remains one of the state's largest operations, with a workforce of about 1200.

The negotiations between Anglo and the union continue against a backdrop of industry upheaval, following Swiss mining giant Glencore's decision to shut down its Collinsville mine in late August, severing its deal with managers Thiess and costing 300 Central Queensland jobs.

Later this month, Glencore will restart the operation with just 50 workers and build up from there.

The CFMEU is concerned this Collinsville reboot could be imitated by other industry heavyweights.

Union district vice president Stephen Smyth said it was a bad example not just for the resources industry but also for manufacturing.

"If they think they can get away with it, you are going back to the contract days where you turn up and they decide whether you work," Mr Smyth said.

CFMEU district vice president Glenn Power said the union would not pursue industrial action unless discussions with the company proved fruitless.

A spokeswoman for Anglo American said the deal offered to workers was appropriate "given the state of the market".

The international price for both steel-making and energy coal - used for electricity - remains in a lull, giving further motivation for companies to avoid paying more for labour.



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