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Union backs off own proposal for return to work

14 July 2005

Engineers’ Union backs off own proposal for return to work

Coal producer, Solid Energy New Zealand Ltd is considering its position as the Engineers’ Union this morning backed away from its own proposal for a return to work and a resumption of collective bargaining.

Solid Energy New Zealand Ltd, yesterday agreed to the attached mediated terms, proposed by the Engineers’ Union on Sunday, 10 July, for a return to work by coal miners at Huntly East Mine in the Waikato and Ngakawau coal handling facility (Stockton).

The union has this morning advised the mediator, Walter Grills, that it is no longer prepared to lift the industrial action to allow a return to bargaining.

Chief Operating Officer, Barry Bragg, says the company agreed to the terms for a return to work and to bargaining because the 13-day industrial action is severely impacting on a number of New Zealand customers.

“As a result of this action, some industries have already reduced production. Others, including some hospitals, are faced with possible closure in the near future. We had hoped that this solution – proposed by the union - would get us back around the table so that we can move forward.”


Agreed Terms issued by Mediator, Walter Grills, 13 July 2005

Solid Energy has agreed with all the main elements of the union’s proposal for a return to work made on 10 July 2005, and an immediate resumption of collective bargaining.

Main elements agreed by Solid Energy

Solid Energy agrees that there will be a two year agreement, a 5% increase in year one and a 3% increase in year two.

The parties agree to negotiate site claims at each individual site, including lump sum payments and the Stockton delegate claim.

The term, as proposed by the union, 1 April 2005 to 31 March 2007, is agreed, and therefore back dating of the 5 percent wage rate increase will apply.

Huntly East Mine / Rotowaro Issues

Solid Energy agrees:

- That should a contractor replace Henry Walker Eltin Ltd at Rotowaro, Solid Energy agrees for the replacement contractor to become a party to the National Mining MECA

- To discuss Huntly East Mine exit package as part of the site claims

In addition

Solid Energy agrees:

- To discuss the 1% parity claim for Spring Creek as part of the site claims.

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