Coal miners strike over pay

TOWNSVILLE — More than 230 miners at the Thiess Collinsville Coal Project walked off the job on July 27 over a two-year-old pay dispute. The strike has halted all production at the mine.

Secretary of the Collinsville lodge of the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union Rick Grant told the July 29 Townsville Bulletin the miners had dug in and weren’t about to back down.

Grant said the dispute was over what workers considered an outdated enterprise bargaining agreement. He said the EBA was well below what miners in other parts of the Bowen Basin were being paid.

Collinsville employees have lost 24% in wages over the past nine years due to Thiess stalling negotiations, Grant said.

He told the paper if Thiess didn’t change its attitude towards the EBA, it would see more and more skilled miners leaving the Collinsville pit for other more lucrative mining centres.

He said the striking miners had strong support within the Collinsville community.