„In total, employees at 13 different Glencore coal sites in NSW and Queensland have now voted in favour of new enterprise agreements this year,“ the spokesman said. CFMEU New South Wales President Peter Jordan told the media that the union was „happy“ with the agreement and that the agreements were „a reasonable outcome for both parties.“ He said the union had imposed its demands for job security, improved savings wages and the casual and permanent employment agreement. Each of these agreements has been registered with the Fair Work Commission. The repressive Fair Work Acts, introduced in 2009 by the former Labour government, prohibit active industrial support from union members in other companies. The CFMEU and any other union supported these measures because they offered another way to stem labour disputes and prove their worth as an industrial constable for large capital. The three-year operating agreements cover workers in Bulga`s underground and open pit mines, as well as open pit mines in Glendell, Liddell, Mangoola and Ravensworth, as well as coal handling and processing facilities at Mount Owen, Liddell and Ravensworth. One Glencore site that has not signed an agreement is the Oaky North underground mine in the Bowen Basin in Queensland. The union says negotiations have been ongoing since 2015. It went on strike in May and Glencore responded in early June by „unlocking“ some 190 union members. CFMEU-Glencore Hunter Valley enterprise agreements include a 6 per cent pay increase over three years. This barely covers the official inflation rate of 1.9 per cent and responds to Glencore`s demand to keep wages low. A number of former Glencore EBAs in the Hunter Valley expired in July 2012, meaning that some miners have not had a pay increase in five years.
The union ensured the continuation of the operation during this period and thus effectively imposed a wage freeze. The workstations to reach an agreement were Mangoola Open Cut, Ravensworth Open Cut, Ravensworth coal wrap and preparatory facility, Mount Owen coal handling facility, Openly cut Glendell, Liddell open cut, Liddell coal plant, open cut bulga and Bulga underground mine. After months of negotiations with Glencore management, Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) has imposed cost-cutting agreements on 1,400 employees of the Swiss mining group Hunter Valley. The dispute, which began in June with limited labour disputes, ended last month. After a six-month labour dispute and negotiations, coal company Glencore and the miners` union settled their disputes and signed a series of agreements on the Hunter mines. Each of Glencore`s coal sites in the Hunter Valley has reached an agreement with its employees. However, these agreements allow the company to continue to reduce jobs and indeterminate conditions and have not been subject to ratification of a mass joint meeting of Glencore workers. Instead, the union convened a meeting of about 40 union delegates on October 20 to qualify the agreement. The assembly of delegates was expected to stifle resistance among high-ranking workers before the official vote begins in November.
A Glencore spokesman said all of the company`s coal sites in the Hunter Valley have agreed with its employees on a new enterprise agreement. The CFMEU had previously stated that the company should limit the number of casual workers. However, the union withdrew this request in August, before negotiations resumed. As part of the new agreement, Glencore management – to help the union sell it to its members – will offer stable positions to some Bulga and Ravensworth contractors.