Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union national president Tony Maher called on the government to get the facts straight about how emissions trading will impact the coal industry.
But he also took a swipe at what he calls an industry scare campaign.
“We won't tolerate any job losses, it's time for the industry scare campaign to stop and the real discussions to begin,” he said.
“We can't let corporate greed get in the way of protecting jobs and tackling climate change.”
He also said coal miners do not like the way coal employers are representing the industry and pressuring the government for a $A10 billion handout – a reference to the recent independent report from ACIL Tasman on the cost to the sector of the CPRS.
In response the ACA said it agreed with Maher that no Australian jobs should be sacrificed as a result of the CPRS.
“We invite Mr Maher and his union members to look closely at the independent modelling from ACIL-Tasman that forecasts extensive mine closures and the loss of close to 10,000 jobs – many of them CFMEU members – by 2020, if coal is not treated fairly under the CPRS,” ACA Executive Director Ralph Hillman said.
“There is no question that our international competitors will take Australian markets and jobs – and there will be no benefit to the global climate – if Australian coal companies face over a billion dollars a year in new costs that our competitors won’t have to pay until at least 2020.”
In its talks with Combet, the ACA is seeking amendments to the CPRS to include coal as an emissions-intensive trade-exposed industry.
“The independent modelling clearly demonstrates that coal qualifies to be treated as an emissions-intensive trade-exposed industry and that it should receive a 60 per cent rebate in order to preserve its competitiveness and protect the same jobs that Mr Maher says he wants to protect,” Hillman said.