Workers protested near Anglo American's Moranbah North Mine over safety concerns on Friday June 5.
Workers protested near Anglo American's Moranbah North Mine over safety concerns on Friday June 5. Contributed

Workers protesting over safety fears at CQ mine

WORKERS have begun protesting near Anglo American's Moranbah North Mine over safety concerns.

In a statement, the CFMEU said the action was sparked after efforts from union workplace delegates to meet with management over safety concerns were "given the cold shoulder".

The union said it had sought a meeting with site management today to raise a number of safety concerns over issues including gas monitoring and the confidence of contractors to speak up about safety. 

An Anglo American spokeswoman said the company strongly rejected the claims. 

Workers protested near Anglo American's Moranbah North Mine over safety concerns on Friday June 5.
Workers protested near Anglo American's Moranbah North Mine over safety concerns on Friday June 5. Contributed

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CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland president Stephen Smyth. Picture: Daryl Wright
CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland president Stephen Smyth. Picture: Daryl Wright

"We regularly meet with union lodge members, who are also present at our workforce briefings and will continue to have the opportunity to participate with our workforce in open discussions during these sessions," the spokeswoman said.

"The safety and health of our people remains our priority, and we have continued to offer support and engage openly with our workforce on safety, including as we progress investigations into the Grosvenor incident.

 "Over the past few weeks we have been regularly updating our workforce. Moranbah North Mine alone has had more than 50 separate workforce briefings on the Grosvenor incident and the power outage issue last week."

SAFETY FEARS: Workers protesting outside Anglo American's Moranbah North Mine.
SAFETY FEARS: Workers protesting outside Anglo American's Moranbah North Mine.

The spokeswoman said it offered to meet with the district president and the site safety and health representatives of the mine to discuss any safety concerns they may have, but Mr Smyth chose not to take part. 

 "As the largest underground coal miner in Queensland, we have been at the forefront of technical innovation and have invested significantly in technology to improve safety in our mines, including additional methane detection equipment, digitisation to improve underground communication and automation of equipment," she said. 

CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland president Stephen Smyth said he was "extremely disappointed" with the mining giant's actions. 

Anglo American’s Moranbah North mine. Picture: Tara Miko
Anglo American’s Moranbah North mine. Picture: Tara Miko

"These delegates are elected by workers to represent them and to make sure their issues are raised with management in order to be resolved," Mr Smyth said.

"At any time - but especially in the current climate where every underground mineworker is on edge - I am asking Anglo's management team to be as inclusive as possible when it comes to hearing and working through safety concerns.

"Until they're heard, workers will continue to protest outside the mine." 

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On Sunday, a power outage sparked a high potential incident at Moranbah North.

The mine site is near Anglo American's Grosvenor Mine, where five workers were injured in last month's horror underground explosion.

Mr Smyth said workers' safety fears had been amplified since the blast.

Yesterday, he claimed workers at Grosvenor Mine reported facing constant pressure to stay quiet about safety concerns.



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