Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union



Workers the victims in Palmer nickel fiasco

The AMWU has blasted Clive Palmer for treating workers like "play things" after his nickel refinery management announced it would not continue operations and would leave workers without enough money for their entitlements.


The workers from the Queensland Nickel Yabulu refinery outside Townsville were told in meetings yesterday that they no longer had a job.

AMWU members held a mass meeting on site and resolved to demand that past and present workers be afforded their entitlements. Employees have still not received written confirmation that their industrial entitlements will be honoured.

The jobs of 550 employees at the Yabulu refinery now look to be gone despite promises from Mr Palmer when he installed a new management company this week that operations would continue.

But Mr Palmer failed to make any preparations to re-employ the workforce or gain essential environmental and OHS approvals from the Queensland Government to run the refinery, which means the operation is likely to be closed by 5pm today (Friday) unless an administrative miracle can be performed.

AMWU Queensland and Northern Territory State Secretary, Rohan Webb said that working men and women had paid the ultimate price for Mr Palmer's actions.

"In just a few short days Queensland Nickel employees have been put through a whirlwind of uncertainty and hurt," he said.

"On Monday Clive Palmer got the hopes of hundreds of workers up and this afternoon, he delivered the nail in the coffin for their jobs"

"Employees have been treated like play things in a sick Clive Palmer board game"

"Our number one priority now is to ensure that workers have the support they need at this difficult time" said Mr Webb.

Dale Collins, a fitter at Queensland Nickel said that everyone on site had been left wondering what their futures would hold.

"This is a real blow to all the workers and our local community" 

"Our only option now is to pick up the pieces and try to rebuild our lives in the wake of all this mess" said Mr Collins.

The AMWU covers over 70 maintenance workers among the 550 remaining employees. A further 237 workers were sacked in January.


Townsville disaster: The Yabulu refinery looks set to close.

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