June 1, 2005
Coal miners head back to the
Negotiations for a national coal-mining collective employment agreement will resume in Christchurch on Wednesday and Thursday of next week (June 8 and 9).
Some 700 miners, represented by the EPMU, are pushing for a national agreement for miners for all companies, at all mines, and want employers to make a commitment to working towards pay parity between mines.
The negotiations have been tense, with miners taking several days’ strike action, and state-owned enterprise Solid Energy last week about to close the Spring Creek mine at Greymouth.
EPMU national secretary Andrew Little says that claims by Solid Energy that the union had agreed not to strike as a condition of the mine remaining open are completely untrue.
“The company asked for such an agreement, but it was not given,” he said.
“The members at Spring Creek and the union expressed a strong desire to keep the mine open, but gave no undertakings about their position in negotiations.”