Mt Isa workers move to cut mine power


By Bill Mason

BRISBANE — Workers at Mount Isa Mines struck for 24 hours on April 24 in a continuing bid to win pay and other demands, and prepared to cut power to the giant MIM mine.

The Mt Isa combined union disputes committee has discussed tactics to blockade the Mica Creek power station, after MIM used non-union staff to foil overtime bans at the station.

ACTU Queensland representative Steve Hardwick said on April 23 that workers were prepared to shed blood for the cause.

"People will have to drive over the top of us to get in. If the company was looking for blood, then they've got it", he said.

ACTU state leaders in Brisbane were reported to have rejected plans by local union militants to blockade the power station.

The 10-week-long dispute has complex origins, relating to union coverage, as well as withdrawal of hard-won conditions by MIM and disagreement on the level of a proposed pay rise.

Calls have come for miners at several Queensland coal fields to strike in support of the Mt Isa unionists.

Mount Isa is a town divided, as the company has brought police in to investigate allegations of threatening phone calls to MIM non-union staff.