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Strike Actions by CFMEU at Xstrata’s Tahmoor Mine in Australia Continue

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28 June, 2010

Xstrata’s abrasive reluctance to give coal miners represented by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) of Australia a standard enterprise labour agreement caused another industrial action at the Tahmoor mine in New South Wales last week. Some 240 miners downed tools for 24 hours on 24-25 June to attend a union meeting in the town of Picton over the Swiss-based company’s failure to reach pay and entitlement terms at Tahmoor with the CFMEU.

The dispute at the colliery is now in its 16th month. CFMEU members have been frustrated at being denied a functioning enterprise agreement. Xstrata is seeking broad flexibility to write and re-write workplace polices and procedures, and wants a collective agreement that is void of any independent arbitration mechanism, as well as one in which the union, or any mutual disputes procedure, is absent from health and safety issues.

Locked out Xstrata workers at Tahmoor

Xstrata also seeks to have all future bonus schemes not be a subject of bargaining.

The mining house has now informed the CFMEU that it intends to terminate the existing enterprise agreement and discontinue further talks with the union.

The union is seeking only to retain current terms and conditions of its enterprise agreement, and uniformity in working standards with other collieries in the region.

The CFMEU maintains a website called “Xstrata Facts,” which can be found here.