After 180 days of protected industrial action and over 2 years of bargaining, maintenance workers at Griffin Coal will return to work at 7 am today.
The 29 maintenance workers – all members of the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) – have been on strike for just on 6 months, since August 2017. The workers will enter their shift with an honour guard from the community and other trade union members.
“This is a victory for the members, they’ve fought to restore their family friendly rosters and rescue their stolen entitlements,” said AMWU WA Secretary Steve McCartney.
“These workers are the text book example of how critically broken Australia’s workplace laws are. They have faced a termination of their EBA from Griffin Coal, a long and drawn out struggle over more than 2 years, and a massive cut of 43% of their take home pay.
“This community has stood together and stood defiant against a multinational company. They’ve protected their family-friendly rosters and gotten back their stolen entitlements – but it should have never been allowed to happen. This could all have been avoided if our rules were fair and we had a system that delivered workplace democracy.
“This is a victory of the entire Collie community, that has stood by Griffin Coal workers every step of the way.
“Griffin Coal’s actions throughout this process – terminating an agreement, cutting pay by 43%, attempting to steal entitlements and force anti-family rosters on a regional community – demonstrates why the rules are broken. We need to be throwing out the Fair Work Act and demanding a system that respects workers, respects families and can’t be used as a weapon by foreign multinationals,” said Mr McCartney.
Workers will march back into the gates of Griffin Coal on Wednesday at 7.00 am, flanked by union and community supporters.
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