Griffin Coal maintenance workers accept new agreement

The longest running industrial dispute in WA’s coal mining history has ended with Griffin Coal mine maintenance workers accepting a new enterprise agreement.

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union State Secretary Steve McCartney welcomed the outcome as a win, but after the toughest fight in over a century, the union is now calling for changes to Australia’s industrial laws.

“This is a significant victory for Griffin Coal workers,” he said.

“I’m very proud of the membership and the community for standing up to a multinational company and an industrial relations system that is weighted heavily against them.

“It’s a fantastic achievement for our members to protect their family friendly rosters and get back their stolen entitlements.”

Griffin Coal spokesperson James Riordan said the company appreciated the assistance of everyone involved in finalising the new agreement.

“This is another step in ensuring the sustainability of the mine in order to take the business forward,” he said.

The maintenance workers were on strike for more than 180 days which had a significant impact on the Collie community.

The AMWU had a fighting fund for the workers and unions from across the country chipped in to help out.

“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, the result a testament to their resolve,” Mr McCartney said.

After the ballot on Friday February 9, about 30 of the AMWU members are in the Fair Work Commission offices in Perth on Monday where they were told they could return to work at 7am on Wednesday, February 14.

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