Griffin coal production workers sign new deal

Production workers at Collie’s Griffin coal mine have voted in favour of a new agreement that would see their pay cut, in a ballot that ended at midnight on Tuesday.

Construction, Mining, Forestry and Energy Union (CFMEU) secretary Gary Wood said he had expected the ballot to go “down to the wire, which it did”, with 57 of 120 eligible voters voting yes, and 54 voting no.

The agreement would mean a $50,000 reduction in earnings through reduced hours, hourly rates and superannuation.

Mr Wood said while it had been a difficult decision to recommend the agreement to CFMEU members, he had done so because of the uncertainty about Griffin’s financial future under the existing agreement.

Griffin’s parent company Lanco Infratech Limited went into receivership earlier this year.

“We can only hope if the company can renegotiate the coal price and work with employees in a positive manner it gives the best opportunity for the company’s survival,” Mr Wood said.

On the plus side, Mr Wood said, a key element of the proposal had been that Griffin would employ local workers from Collie and Allanson areas.

“Going forward that 120 will grow to some 200 permanent employees, because at present the company has been using casual labour,” he said.

Mr Wood said the agreement would now have to be registered with the Fair Work Commission and, if approved would come into effect in a few weeks.

Griffin maintenance workers represented by the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union are continuing protected industrial action and their negotiations with the company regarding their agreement.

Meanwhile workers at Collie’s Premier Coal have also voted in favour of a new agreement in a ballot that also ended this week.