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Union tribute to miners from Strongman

Union tribute to miners from Strongman

The union which represents miners today paid tribute to the men who worked – and died – in the Strongman mines.

The Miners’ Union amalgamated into the EPMU in 1993. Union national secretary Andrew Little said that today’s closure of the Strongman Two mine was the end of an era.

“West Coast miners are at the very heart of New Zealand unionism,” he said.

“They were instrumental in the birth of the movement in New Zealand, and have played a strong part ever since.”

The closure of the Strongman mines was particularly poignant because of the 1967 accident in Strongman One which claimed the lives of 19 miners, Mr Little said.

“It is one of the worst workplace accidents in New Zealand history, and illustrates why workers must continue to be vigilant in protecting their health and safety at work.”

Miners from Strongman started transferring to the new Spring Creek underground mine in September last year. They will be joined next week by their remaining colleagues from Strongman.

Miners from Spring Creek and Strongman mines took strike action in May over their collective agreement. Mr Little said that the agreement had been settled, with the workforce winning improved conditions and a 7.9 per cent pay increase.

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