Griffin stand-off

Maintenance workers at Griffin Coal have been on strike for more than 100 days, making it the longest strike in WA's coal industry.
Maintenance workers at Griffin Coal have been on strike for more than 100 days, making it the longest strike in WA's coal industry.

The maintenance workers at Griffin Coal continue to be left in limbo as the mining company rescinded its contract offer.

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union assistant branch secretary Glenn McLaren said an offer was on the table just days after Griffin production staff signed a deal which would see around $50,000 reduction in earnings through reduced hours, hourly rates and superannuation.

He said as a result of the negotiations, the union believed there was an in principle agreement for a new Enterprise Agreement with a final draft being tabled on November 20.

Mr McLaren said it was done in good faith and facilitated by the Fair Work Commission.

“However, Griffin Coal rescinded the in principle agreement at the eleventh hour,” he said.

There has now been two hearings to allow Griffin Coal to explain why the agreement was removed. Griffin Coal maintenance worker Glenn Davis said despite other reports, there was no agreed position for a new Enterprise Agreement and discussions were ongoing.

Griffin Coal spokesperson James Riordan said the company continues to meet with the union.

“Griffin Coal remains focussed on trying to achieve a sustainable enterprise agreement with the maintenance workforce to take this business forward,” he said.

Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray has labelled Griffin Coal's behaviour as "unethical".

"I am very concerned at the tact the company is taking to delay the agreement," Mr Murray said.

"The company pulled out of the deal which had been tabled by the company itself. This is unheard of in industrial relations. The delay is impacting maintenance workers and their families in Collie so they need to come to an agreement as soon as possible."

It has been more than 100 days since the maintenance staff at Griffin Coal began protected industrial action which is now the longest strike in the coal industry in WA.

Griffin maintenance staff would like to have a reinstatement of previously accrued entitlements such as annual and long service leave which was “slashed” in August 2016. The staff also want to see the implementation of an even time work roster that is family friendly, acceptable rates of pay and an agreement that is parity with the production staff agreement.