Boggabri coal miners walk out over unfair rosters, pay and conditions

Published: 28 Aug 2019

Mineworkers at Boggabri Coal Mine have walked off the job for a second day in a row in their bid to restore fair pay and conditions at the open cut mine in NSW’s Gunnedah Basin.

About 100 workers stopped work at midday to attend a picket line outside the mine gates for the remainder of their shift. Today’s action follows 6-hour stoppages during yesterday’s day and night shifts.

Working conditions have gone backwards at the coal mine since the Japanese-owned operator Idemitsu terminated its labour contract with Downer and moved to direct employment, said CFMEU Northern Mining and NSW Energy President Peter Jordan.

“Workers have voted to take protected industrial action to restore conditions they’ve lost and bring pay rates closer to NSW coal industry standards,” said Mr Jordan.

“These workers produce valuable, high quality export coal, but their pay and conditions don’t reflect industry standards and they deserve better.

“We are calling on Idemitsu to do the right thing and offer workers an Enterprise Agreement with fair rosters, pay and conditions.”

Issues with Idemitsu’s proposed EA include:

  • Introduction of 7/7 rosters which would promote the use of fly-in fly-out rather than locally-based workers.
  • Pay rates that are $30,000 to $40,000 a year lower than permanent rates in Hunter Valley coal mines, with unfair bonus structures.
  • No provisions to support skills training for workers.
  • No access to arbitration by the Fair Work Commission for dispute resolution by an independent umpire.

CFMEU members will consider taking further industrial action until they reach satisfactory agreement.