Workers protest over safety at Moranbah North

Published: 5 Jun 2020

Efforts by Miners’ Union workplace delegates at AngloAmerican’s Moranbah North coal mine to meet with management over safety concerns have been given the cold shoulder, with workers resorting to protesting outside the mine to have their concerns heard.

CFMEU Mining and Energy delegates at Moranbah North had sought a meeting with site management today to raise a number of safety concerns over issues including gas monitoring and the confidence of contractors to speak up about safety.

Workers’ safety fears have been amplified since last month’s horror underground explosion at Anglo’s nearby Grosvenor mine, said CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland President Stephen Smyth.

“It is unhelpful in the extreme at this time for Anglo management to be refusing any meeting with any worker regarding safety concerns, let alone elected workplace delegates,” he said. 

“To refuse a meeting over a false distinction between ‘industrial’ and ‘safety’ issues is to pretend that the way people work does not impact on the safety of a mine. 

“Nothing could be further from the truth – the way people work, the way they are treated and the confidence they feel to raise safety concerns has everything to do with safety outcomes.

“I am extremely disappointed that a meeting I was due to attend today has been derailed due to management’s refusal to allow site delegates to attend. 

“These delegates are elected by workers to represent them and to make sure their issues are raised with management in order to be resolved. 

“At any time – but especially in the current climate where every underground mineworker is on edge – I am asking Anglo’s management team to be as inclusive as possible when it comes to hearing and working through safety concerns.

“Until they’re heard, workers will continue to protest outside the mine.”