Peabody appeals to FWC

UNION plans to take further industrial action at Peabody’s Metropolitan longwall mine in New South Wales, with a seven-day stoppage planned, could be subject to change from a Fair Work Commission hearing scheduled for this afternoon.
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Older longwall equipment at the Metropolitan face.

Blair Price

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union southwestern district vice president Bob Timbs told ILN that Peabody had made a filing to FWC over suspending the protected industrial action for two months as an attempted “cooling off period”.

Timbs said the union aimed to continue industrial action until there was “some movement” by the company in relation to the enterprise agreement negotiations.

While the FWC proceedings scheduled for 2pm today could change the outcome, he revealed that CFMEU had given Peabody notice of its plans to start a seven-day stoppage from 7.30am on Saturday.

Peabody confirmed to ILN that it was seeking FWC intervention.

“Peabody Energy has applied to the Fair Work Commission for assistance in bringing this matter to a resolution,” a spokesperson said.

The mine’s existing EA expired at the end of June with both parties in disagreement over salaries.

Outside of work stoppages, the union’s previous industrial action at the mine included longwall and road development limitations and bans on using diesel-powered vehicles underground.

“Peabody remains committed to working with the employees and the bargaining representatives to deliver an agreement which reflects current market conditions, lifts productivity, reduces costs, enhances safety and provides greater job security for Metropolitan mine employees,” the company said after deciding to idle Metropolitan for 72 hours three weeks ago.