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Industrial Relations, Oil Mining Resources

Lowest paid QLD coal terminal workers begin industrial campaign for pay that keeps pace with cost of living

Mining & Energy Union 2 mins read

Mining and Energy Union members employed at Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal (“WICET”) in Gladstone, Queensland have begun taking protected industrial action this week.

In a ballot conducted the week before last, there was 100% support for various forms of protected industrial action such as work stoppages, bans on non-rostered overtime and bans on using various pieces of equipment, systems and tasks. The industrial action commences today on Tuesday, 26 September.

MEU bargaining representatives have been engaging in extensive negotiations to bring WICET remuneration closer to the industry standards and to keep pace with cost-of-living pressures.

However, following 15 meetings with company representatives over 8 months, the Union believes that not enough progress has been made.

“Workers who operate and maintain fixed and mobile equipment at the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal receive pay far behind comparable coal terminals in Queensland, as an example WICET Employees receive about 20% less than the coal terminal directly next door in Gladstone with that percentage getting greater every year,” MEU Queensland District Vice-President Jeff Scales said.

“When considering the limited growth of WICET employees’ wages over the last four and a half years, our members believe that the 13% pay increase over three years with a sign-on payment, will go some of the way toward addressing what can only be described as wage suppression. What our members are seeking is more than reasonable.

“Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal workers have been critical to the massive profits posted by some of largest mining companies that operate in Queensland and globally, yet we see a significant lag in the pay packets of their Employees at the coal terminal.

Wiggins Island Coal Terminal is jointly owned by Glencore, Yancoal and Coronado. All three Companies have posted massive profits over the last two years, including Glencore’s 198% increase on its 2021 profit.

“It is ludicrous that these companies, whose representatives sit on the Coal Terminals board and determine what pay increases WICET Employees receive, can post such massive profits and not provide a wage that addresses the previous wages suppression and cost of living pressures for workers who are critical to delivering these Companies record profits.

“By taking industrial action, workers are sending a strong message to WICET’s board, management, and the owner companies that they are willing to take a stand for a comprehensive enterprise agreement inclusive of pay increases to address previous wage suppression, cost of living pressures and working toward closing the gap on the industry standards for Coal Export Terminals in Queensland."


Contact details:

0416 426 722 / headsup@hortonadvisory.com.au

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