10-day lockout for PKCT workers, board members urged to act

Published: 18 Feb 2019

Port Kembla Coal Terminal workers received notice last night that they have been locked out for 10 days until Wednesday 27 February.

CFMEU Mining and Energy South Western District Vice President Bob Timbs said it was time for board members to step in and address PKCT’s South 32 management’s heavy-handed approach.

Board members are representatives of the consortium of local mine operators that run the terminal - Wollongong Coal, South 32, Peabody Energy, SIMEC mining, Glencore and Centennial.

PKCT’s request for a moratorium on industrial action was cynical and hypocritical when workers have had long periods with no industrial action attempting to reach agreement, said Mr Timbs.

"Our members at PKCT have negotiated in good faith, attending over 100 meetings with the company to try and reach a new agreement," Mr Timbs said.

"However, at a time casualisation has reached epidemic proportions in our region, they are not willing to stand by and let their permanent jobs be contracted out.

“We are happy to go back to the negotiating table when we have a guarantee that workers’ job security is protected. What’s the point of negotiating pay and conditions when the company can just terminate people’s jobs?

“Our members appreciate the support they’ve received from across the community. People understand that our region generates a lot of wealth for big companies, but we need to fight to protect rights and conditions for working people.”

Workers will continue to volunteer their labour for worthwhile community projects while the dispute continues, said Mr Timbs.

About the dispute at PKCT:

  • Negotiations for a new Enterprise Agreement at Port Kembla Coal Terminal began in 2015.
  • Workers have not had a pay rise since 2015.
  • Periodic industrial action began in 2017.
  • Over 100 meetings been workers and management have taken place.
  • Permanent jobs covered by the EA have been cut from 107 to 51 over the course of negotiations.
  • The CFMEU is seeking the following long-standing clause be retained in the EA: “The Company will not terminate the employment of an Employee on the grounds of redundancy to replace the Employee with a contractor in the same position.”
  • PKCT is a consortium of local coal producers: Wollongong Coal, South 32, Peabody Energy, SIMEC mining, Glencore and Centennial. It is managed by South 32 on behalf of the consortium.

Contact: Bob Timbs 0417 562 783 / Jackie Woods 0414 241 483

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