FWC slammed in WA coal deal
WA’s longest-running coal industry pay dispute looks set to end this week.
Workers at the Griffin Coal mine should soon get back on the job after having been on strike for six months, seeking family-friendly rosters, a liveable wage and entitlements at the rate they were accrued.
Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) workers agreed on Friday to accept a new enterprise agreement with Griffin Coal.
AMWU State Secretary Steve McCartney says members are not happy about their new pay rate but were “prepared to cop it” in exchange for more convenient rosters and better entitlements.
“Despite the pressures of foreign banks, a massive 46 per cent pay cut, million-dollar international consultants and the broken Fair Work Commission, the workers and the broader Collie community have stood together and won,” he told the AAP.
“They won it back by endeavour and strength. They knew it would be costly. Nothing can replace what was lost.”
The union figure slammed the Fair Work Commission for the protracted dispute and called for extensive reform.
“I think Fair Work Australia is a train wreck ... and the form it is in now takes democracy away from workers, takes outcomes away from the workers and puts it in bosses’ hands,” he said.
The commission earlier approved Griffin Coal’s request to terminate maintenance workers’ enterprise agreement and put them back on 2010 Black Coal Mining Industry Award, which resulted in a 43 per cent pay cut and the loss of entitlements and conditions.
Workers were forced to get by on award wages for 12 months - around $24 an hour according to the union – in the leadup to the strike, after Griffon fell on hard times and was forced to rely on the financial support of its parent entity, India’s Lanco Infratech.