Miners take protected industrial action at Oaky North Mine

Published: 5 May 2017

Miners at the Oaky North Lodge will take protected industrial action after Glencore failed to reach agreement with the union on their new enterprise agreement.

CFMEU Mining and Energy Division District Vice President Chris Brodsky said negotiations had stalled and a Protected Action Ballot had been run and approved.

“Glencore has taken a totally unreasonable approach, asking workers to sacrifice current entitlements, conditions and removing basic rights, such as certainty about rostered shifts and the right to be represented when a worker is stood down,” Mr Brodsky said.

“This is about Glencore re-writing the rules in their favour, undermining workers basic rights and fair entitlements and conditions.

“It would result in workers having less of everything – less real pay, less job security and certainty about their shifts, an unsafe workplace and fewer rights. It’s totally unacceptable and workers are prepared to stand and fight.

Key issues where Glencore has taken an unreasonable position include:

  • Removing employees' rights to workplace representation when stood down and for disputes;
  • Insisting on being able to unilaterally change rosters with no arbitration
  • Exclusion of clauses which provide safety for workers.
  • Insistence on a reduction in real wages
  • Increasing costs for Accommodation while cutting real pay
  • Removal of arbitration in the Personal Leave clause.
  • Inadequate natural disaster arrangements.
  • Inadequate Severance and Retrenchment arrangements.
  • Removing worker representation for disputes

“Glencore is simply not seeking to negotiate a fair deal,” Mr Brodsky said.

“Through their unions, miners will continue to seek a better deal from Glencore.

“Workers do not take industrial action lightly, but we have no other option given the company’s negotiating position would cut real wages, remove their rights at work and compromise safety.”

Media contact: Tim O’Halloran 0409 059 617