Burton hit by chopping season

UP TO 43 jobs could be axed at Peabody Energy’s open cut Burton coal mine in the north of Queensland’s Bowen Basin with the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union vocal about resisting the move.
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Burton: Image courtesy of Peabody Pacific

Blair Price

According to the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, contracting company Thiess will slash 40 jobs while ABC News reported the company was trying to keep the job cuts to a minimum.

Thiess reportedly said the job cuts resulted from Peabody’s “changing requirements”.

CFMEU Mackay district vice-president Steve Pierce told International Longwall News the union could make an application to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, echoing similar action taken against Xstrata Coal which recently cut nearly 230 jobs from the Oaky No. 1 longwall mine closure.

Pierce said the jobs at stake were permanent full-time positions with some 39 involved in the production area and four with maintenance.

While he said the consultation process was reasonable he said the CFMEU was seeking legal advice for an Australian Industrial Relations Commission application.

He said Thiess had vacancies in other coal operations and these positions should be firstly available to the Burton workers facing the job cuts.

ILN attempted to contact Peabody but the company was unable to respond prior to publication.

Burton is a terrace mining truck and shovel operation mainly producing coking coal.

Analysts have anticipated coking coal contract prices will fall up to 60% in the upcoming round of negotiations before the end of the Japanese financial year at the end of March.

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