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Media Release: Workers’ legal fightback against Anglo

The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) has filed legal proceedings in the Fair Work Commission against Anglo American (Capcoal management) today.

The General Protections Application involving dismissal, was filed this afternoon on behalf of workers who were recently made redundant from the German Creek and Lake Lindsay mines.

The adverse action claim focuses on the selection of permanent workers over temporarily based labour hire workers. The Union is also challenging the validity of the selection of members who have raised genuine workplace health and safety complaints or inquiries, as well as the selection of an AMWU delegate. 

AMWU Queensland and Northern Territory Secretary, Rohan Webb said, “Our members who have been callously made redundant had the benefit of a Union negotiated Agreement. The labour hire workers who work at the mine are under inferior employment arrangements. The simple fact is, that our members who were made redundant had more beneficial employment arrangements than labour hire workers. Anglo targeted our members and sacked them on this basis”.

The workers were made redundant just weeks before Christmas in the midst of protected action being taken by the workforce over job security.

Mr Webb said that the AMWU will take every legal avenue available to challenge and reverse the decision of Anglo American.

“The redundancies are an unacceptable attack on coal workers and their families. It is a clear and direct attack on permanent workers. Anglo American still needs to the work done – but have decided to use the cheaper option of labour hire. We will leave no stone unturned in defending our members who have been given the axe just before Christmas”

“This action is about ensuring that workers are treated fairly and with respect. This doesn’t just affect employees, it will affect their families, the community and the local economy”

“One of the employees made redundant has worked at the mine since 1982. To be left with such uncertainty just before Christmas is just a heartless move”

 “Unemployment is a huge problem for Central Queensland and redundancies like these are just another nail in the coffin for regional jobs and regional communities. That’s why we will fight this until the bitter end” said Mr Webb.

Principal at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, Giri Sivaraman who is representing the dismissed AMWU members said that it was extremely concerning that only workers operating under a Union workplace agreement were made redundant, whilst labour hire employees continued to perform the same work.

“To then turn around and allow the superintendents, who threatened and derided union members after their complaints about safety, to make the decisions on redundancies is not only inappropriate, it has also led to unlawful outcomes,” said Mr Sivaraman.

 

Media Contact: Julie-Ann Campbell 0429 777 082

 

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