The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union and Glencore are in a stalemate over a new workplace agreement so the workers decided to provide community services in the small town of Tieri, close to the mine.
CFMEU Queensland district president Chris Brodsky said the last thing the miners wanted to do was sit still.
“These guys love their community and they love their job, so after the company locked them out of their own workplace, despite the fact their industrial action is protected under the Fair Work Act, they decided to give time to their community,” he said.
“They’ve been helping out at local schools and the rugby league club, shovelling sand and chip-bark into community gardens, cleaning up the Girls Guides hut and have presented local schools with football and rugby guernseys.”
Brodsky said workers would not be intimidated and would fight for decent conditions, and Glencore only served to damage its standing in the local community by standing over local workers.
He said the proposed workplace agreement being put forward by Glencore would limit workers’ access to workplace representation and the company to unilaterally change rosters against the wishes of employees.
“Workers are not asking for anything more than they are entitled to and with coal prices on the rise, Glencore has no excuse whatsoever for trying to strip workers of their basic right,” Brodsky said.
Glencore did not respond to calls for comment.