Glencore mineworkers mark Day 100 locked out of work at Oaky North mine

Published: 11 Oct 2017

Reports today of abusive conduct on the picket line outside Glencore Oaky North mine, where hundreds of Australian miners have been locked out of work, are being used as a distraction from the real battle to save Aussie jobs.

Today is Day 100 on the picket line outside the mine because its foreign owner Glencore – which pays no Australian taxes - refuses to return to the negotiating table with its local workers.

The CFMEU has issued guidelines to those protesting on the picket line and does not condone offensive behaviour.

Stephen Smyth, District President for the CFMEU Mining and Energy Division Queensland, said legitimate allegations of abuse should be taken to the police, not the media.

“Almost 200 Australian families have been hung out to dry by the mine’s foreign owners as the miners – many of them primary bread-winners - enter day 100 of the dispute,” Mr Smyth said.

The CFMEU claims the foreign multi-national company, which pays no Australian taxes, is moving to replace its permanent workforce at the Central Queensland mine with casual contractors.

The majority of workers recently voted against an enterprise agreement which they say will erode their rights and conditions around workplace representation, dispute procedures and severance and retrenchment.

Glencore’s revenue from Australian coal operations jumped from US$1.77 billion to US$3.1 billion in the last half year. Their cash profit on every tonne of coal produced was around 41 per cent.

The CFMEU claims this foreign company is trying to strip back hard fought for and won work conditions – which in the Australian mining industry – can impact on safety and lives.