A hundred miners walked off the job for 48 hours at Anglo Coal’s Moranbah North longwall mine in central Queensland on November 7. The workers were picketing over Anglo’s refusal to negotiate an enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA).
The mine was recently acquired by the South African conglomerate after its takeover of Shell Coal's operations.
The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union says Moranbah North is the only one of Anglo's mines without an EBA. Around half the mine’s 200 strong workforce are supporting the strike action.
The mine has not yet lived up to expectations of tonnages in the 6-8 million tonne per annum range, partly due to a range of technical and equipment difficulties over the last 12 months. Despite this, performance for the year to June 2000 was a respectable 4.17Mt of coal, of which 3.81Mt was off the longwall.
Many of these problems have been resolved and the last thing management will want to do now will be go backwards and allow the creation of archaic work practices previous owner Shell was careful not to introduce in the first place.