June 10, 2005
Coal miners and employers to return to talks
Coal miners and their employers are to return to the negotiating table.
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little said this afternoon that terms for a return to talks had been agreed.
“We have reached a basis for agreement for a return to negotiations, and will be back around the table with Solid Energy and its five contractors on June 21 and 22.”
Conditions for a return to bargaining include the removal of suspension notices on eight coal loaders at the Huntly East and Stockton mines.
“All suspension notices have been withdrawn, all lost wages will be paid, and everybody is back at work,” Mr Little said.
Talks between the 700 miners and their employers broke down on Wednesday night, with employers sticking to their pay offer of 2.8 per cent. The miners had dropped their claim from six per cent to five per cent.
Miners are seeking a national multi-employer collective agreement covering all coal mines, and a commitment to pay parity between mines.