Australian coal miners to start week-long strike today

Over 3,000 coal miners at seven operations in Queensland state-owned coking coal producer commences their week-long strike today.

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) district president, Steve Smyth said that the week-long strike will be the biggest in ten years. Workers coming from the company’s mines in Goonyella Riverside, Broadmeadow, Peak Downs, Saraji, Norwich Park, Gregory Crinum and Blackwater will participate in the demonstrations. The strike happens after a 15-month enterprise bargaining dispute between CFMEU and the company. Mr Smyth says that negotiations have broken down over the key issues of safety representatives, housing and equal work for equal pay.

“We’re apart in relation to local content, housing, safety, critical roles, flexibility of operations, equal pay/equal work.

“Obviously in the recent years it’s probably the largest dispute we’ve had dating back to probably even the late 1990s.”

In a statement, the company expressed its disappointment over the union’s action. They will not change their position on things that are vital for “ongoing competitiveness.”

In a report by ABC News, equities analyst Tim Morris said that the industrial action will have a significant impact on the world supply of coking coals, with customers in Asia affected the most.

“You’ve already got flooding affecting output from the east coast and Australia is one of the world’s largest suppliers to Asia, so it could have an impact on short-term pricing.

“If the tension continues, you could see some medium-term issues evolve.”


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