Hitachi workers bring fight to Sydney

Published: 20 Nov 2018

CFMEU members at Hitachi in the NSW Hunter Valley have brought their fight for coal mining industry conditions to the company’s head office in Sydney, with over 40 tradesmen setting up a picket outside the company’s headquarters.

After 130 days of industrial action, the company is refusing to offer improved conditions in line with coal mining industry standards including long service leave, accident pay and annual leave.

This is despite Hitachi management conceding in the Fair Work Commission that these field service fitters and electricians spend 90% of their working day in coal mines. Some are permanently rostered at mine sites for their 12-hour shifts.

Delegate Ken Porthouse said there was strong support for the Hitachi tradesmen among mineworkers at the Hunter Valley coal mines where they work.

“There’s strong support for us in the mines, they all understand it. All we want is our proper entitlements.”

NSW Mining and Northern Energy District Vice President Jeff Drayton said Hitachi was failing to treat negotiations seriously.

“Managing Director David Harvey says he’s too busy to meet with us. Well if he won’t come to us, we’ll come to him.

“Our message to him is that these workers are standing firm, they’re not giving up. It’s time for him to step in and make a serious offer that addresses their concerns and reflects coal mining industry standards.”