Skip to content
Industrial Relations, Oil Mining Resources

Win for permanent jobs: Federal Court rules that Helensburgh Coal sackings not genuine redundancies

Mining and Energy Union 2 mins read

MEU members at Helensburgh coal mine in the Illawarra have had a big win for permanent jobs today, with a full court of the Federal Court ruling that 22 workers sacked in 2020 were not genuine redundancies as similar work continued to be performed by contractors. 

The Federal Court accepted union arguments that the affected permanent employees could have been reasonably redeployed. The decision may assist in challenging future redundancies of permanent workers across the mining industry where thousands of non-specialist jobs are outsourced to labour hire contractors. 

In 2022, the Fair Work Commission determined that the sackings were not genuine redundancies, however their decision was appealed to the Federal Court by mine owner Peabody. Unless Peabody applies for special leave to appeal to the High Court, the matter will revert to the Fair Work Commission to decide on remedy for the affected workers, which could include compensation or being rehired. 

MEU South West District Vice President Bob Timbs said the 22 workers had fought a long battle for the important principle that mine owners shouldn’t cut permanent jobs while outsourcing comparable work. When they were dismissed in June 2020, work at the site was being undertaken by contractors Mentser and Nexus.

“These workers lost their jobs almost four years ago and they have endured a lengthy legal battle to fight for their own jobs and the principle of job security in the mining industry,” said Mr Timbs.

“Workers who are fortunate enough to have a permanent job don’t want to lose it, because it’s hard to get another one. Almost half of the coal mining workforce in the Southern District are labour hire contractors. It’s a model that employers have embraced to erode pay, rights, conditions and job security. 

“If we can restore permanent work as the dominant model in our industry, everyone benefits. 

“This is a fantastic legal decision and we thank our affected members and legal team who were determined to fight all the way; and all MEU members who collectively fund important legal cases to lift standards in our industry.”

More from this category

  • Industrial Relations, Legal
  • 17/05/2024
  • 15:52
SafeWork NSW

Engineered stone provider fined $375,000 after employee was exposed to silica dust

An engineered stone provider has been fined $375,000 after it exposed a worker to a risk of serious illness over a six-year and 10 month period where reasonably practical steps were not taken to minimise exposure to airborne respirable crystalline silica. Edstein Creative Pty Ltd pled guilty to the charge in December 2023. Edstein Creative failed to take adequate actions to minimise the risk of exposure to airborne respirable crystalline silica while undertaking tasks associated with the installation of engineered stone products, including cutting, grinding, drilling and polishing. SafeWork NSW commenced these proceedings in 2021. These were the first proceedings…

  • Contains:
  • Finance Investment, Oil Mining Resources
  • 17/05/2024
  • 10:30
Loyal Lithium Limited (ASX:LLI)

Loyal Lithium (ASX:LLI) Raises $3.3M at a 73% Premium to Market in Heavily Oversubscribed Flow-Through Placement

Highlights: Loyal Lithium has raised $3.3M at a 73% Premium to the 15-day VWAP by utilising the “flowthrough shares” provisions under Canadian tax law.…

  • Contains:
  • Oil Mining Resources
  • 17/05/2024
  • 09:51
Euro Manganese Inc.

Euro Manganese Reports Second Fiscal Quarter 2024 Financial Results

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 15, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Euro Manganese Inc. (TSX-V and ASX: EMN; OTCQB: EUMNF; Frankfurt: E06) (the "Company" or "EMN") today announced financial results and key developments during the second fiscal quarter and to date. The Company has now filed its March 31, 2024, second fiscal quarter Financial Statements and Management’s Discussion and Analysis. Euro Manganese’s fiscal year end is September 30.Key Developments During and Subsequent to the Quarter Chvaletice Project, Czech Republic Chvaletice Manganese Project ("Chvaletice Project" or the "Project") was formally listed as under appraisal for debt financing with the European Investment Bank ("EIB").…

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.