The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union has condemned today’s announcement by the lenders of Griffin Coal’s owners, Lanco Infratech Limited, that they have appointed Price Waterhouse Coopers as receivers and managers, resulting in maintenance workers at the mine losing over half of their accrued entitlements.
The Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) June 2016 decision to terminate the enterprise agreement between Griffin Coal and the mine’s maintenance workers, and revert them back to the Black Coal Mining Industry Award (2010), would result in a significant impact on the workers redundancies and entitlements in light of today’s announcement.
Accrued redundancy payouts will be significantly reduced as a result of the FWC’s decision, with some workers facing a reduction in payout from $280,000 to as low as $81,000.
AMWU State Secretary Steve McCartney said todays announcements was yet another kick in the guts for workers at Griffin Coal who had been left stranded by a broken Federal IR system, and that it was clear Federal Minister for Employment Michaelia Cash clearly had no regard for the impact this decision was having on the workers and their families in her home state.
“By deciding to cancel the agreement the Fair Work Commission has hung these workers out to dry, and effectively handed over hundreds of thousand of dollars of workers hard earned entitlements back to the company.” Mr McCartney said.
“The deadlock that workers have experienced in dealing with Griffin is a consequence of the weak and flawed processes of the Commission, and Minister Cash’s unwillingness to acknowledge the position this puts workers in Western Australia in is shameful.
“This company going into receivership is the worst possible outcome for these workers, and it is unacceptable that the accrued entitlements they rightfully earned at $62 an hour will now be paid out at only $30 an hour.
“Companies do not just fall over in a couple of days, and it’s a disgrace that the workers are now having to pay for the incompetence and deception of Lanco.”
Mr McCartney said Minister Cash, knows full well how foreign multi-nationals companies such as Lanco are exploiting the FWC system to avoid paying workers their rightful entitlements, however she has consistently refused to stand up for the rights and fair treatment of Australian workers.
“It is simply not good enough for the Federal Liberal government to sit on their hands while, companies like Lanco come into Australia, and run businesses like Griffin into the ground, slashing wages and conditions, and having devastating impacts upon communities like Collie,” he said.