Jan 05, 2017

Strike over, but Capcoal battle continues

Strike over, but Capcoal battle continues

Striking Capcoal German Creek mine employees returned to work from last night, but the CFMEU says its battle with owner Anglo American is far from over.

About 140 workers had been on strike since August 19 last year over Enterprise Bargaining Agreement negotiations.

CFMEU Mining and Energy Division Queensland District vice president Glenn Power said matters related to the dispute were still before the courts and the company was due to meet with the union on January 20 for further EBA discussions.

“The guys have made a decision to go back to work and they went back night shift last night,” he said.

“Obviously we’ve been in the courts and commissions in relation to the 33 members who were terminated in conjunction with the bargaining

“We are still waiting on a decision from the bench in relation to the ‘good faith’ bargaining, but we have managed to get two of our union delegates an interim reinstatement.

“The decision was made to return to work because Anglo have strikebreakers out there performing the guys’ duties – so there has really been no impact on Anglo (in withdrawing union labour).

“…By no means does this mean that it’s over. There’s another bargaining meeting set down with Anglo and we’ve still got outstanding claims.

“We’re serious about resolving those claims and we hope they are serious and genuine about resolving those claims.”

Anglo American confirmed employees had begun returning to work from last night following a period of protected industrial action.

“Anglo welcomes the return-to-work decision and looks forward to sitting down and constructively engaging with employee representatives on terms and conditions for a new Enterprise Agreement,” the company stated.

Mr Power said the CFMEU was still fighting for the reinstatement of the union members who were among the 47 direct employees terminated from the Capcoal operation during recent restructuring.

The Fair Work Commission in November dismissed an application made by the CFMEU for ‘Good Faith Bargaining’ orders to be issued against Anglo American.