Union downplays mine lay-offs

By Jennifer Huxley

Updated April 30, 2012 10:50:54

The Construction, Mining, Forestry and Energy Union (CFMEU) says the community should not panic about a company’s move to downsize its Bowen Basin workforce in central Queensland.

Twenty contracted workers at Anglo American Coal’s Foxleigh mine have been laid off and employees at the company’s Moranbah North site, south-west of Mackay, have had their hours reduced.

CFMEU spokesman Steve Smyth says it is a common practice at the end of the financial year.

“That’s one of the issues of having labour hire employees and those who are not engaged in fixed-term, full-time employment,” he said.

“Their jobs are like seasonal workers – they can have a job now and not tomorrow and that’s one of the issues that we face in the mining industry.

“It’s not good but it does happen as it gets towards the end of the financial year.

“It has been a practice in the past in other places.”


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