Saturday 21st Apr, 2018

180-day strike over in WA

Coal. Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

Workers at WA’s Griffin Coal mine have voted to accept a cut in pay in order to end a six-month strike.

According to AAP, 29 maintenance workers – members of the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union – have been on strike for roughly 180 days as part of an extensive pay dispute.

The AMWU agreed to the latest offer from Griffin Coal, with state secretary Steve McCartney reportedly saying his members were not happy to take the pay cut, but were “prepared to cop it” in exchange for family-friendly rostering conditions.

“Despite the pressures of foreign banks, a massive 46% pay cut, million-dollar international consultants and the broken Fair Work Commission, the workers and the broader Collie community have stood together and won,” McCartney said, per AAP.

“They won it back by endeavour and strength. They knew it would be costly. Nothing can replace what was lost.”

Workers were on an award wage for 12 months, after the Fair Work Commission approved Griffin Coal’s request to tear up the existing enterprise agreement, and revert to the 2010 Black Coal Mining Industry Award.

Griffin Coal’s parent company, India’s Lanco Infrastech, went into receivership last May.

McCartney blamed the Commission for the delayed process.

“I think Fair Work Australia is a train wreck,” he was quoted as saying.

“The form it is in now takes democracy away from the workers, takes outcomes away from the workers and puts it in bosses’ hands.”