Anglo must stop Hunger Games and directly employ Grosvenor workforce

Published: 14 Apr 2022

Mineworkers at AngloAmerican’s Grosvenor underground coal mine are infuriated by the company’s latest tactics to avoid giving them job security, including a Hunger Games-style competition for permanent shirts.

In February, Anglo announced a review of its fully outsourced workforce model at the mine which has recently re-started production after a horror underground explosion. The production workforce at Grosvenor is fully outsourced to labour hire company One Key, leading to a focus on insecure work arrangements at the subsequent inquiry.

Mineworkers were led to believe that the review was leading to much-wanted ‘permanent shirts’ – that is, jobs employed directly by the mine operator, said Mining and Energy Union Queensland President Stephen Smyth.

However in an update to workers this week, Anglo said it was engaging a consulting firm to complete the review, that the review would take until the end of July and that only some roles would be offered as permanent Anglo jobs.

“Workers are furious at the delays and the game-playing,” said Mr Smyth. “Blind Freddy can see that Anglo needs to employ its workforce directly. They have had a shocking explosion at Grosvenor last year and the recent tragic death of a contractor at Moranbah North last month.

“These are difficult mines with on-going gas issues and having an empowered, secure workforce is the safest way to operate them. They don’t need a consulting firm to tell them that.

“It’s clear to me and to the workforce that Anglo likes having the power that comes with an outsourced, insecure workforce. They want workers to know they could lose their job at any time, because that’s the reality for labour hire workers.

“They have now basically told workers that they will be competing for the permanent shirts in a Hunger Games scenario.

“These workers are already traumatised by what they have been through. They have worked incredibly hard to get the mine back up and running. To be treated in this way is appalling.

“Anglo must stop playing games and employ their production workforce at Grosvenor directly.”