June 9, 2005
Stockton mine joins action
Workers at the Stockton open-cast mine at Westport are refusing to load coal trains in protest at the break-down of their pay talks.
Four miners at the Huntly East mine were suspended by state-owned mining company Solid Energy this morning where similar action is taking place, and miners at Rotowaro mine are also refusing to load trains.
Some 700 coal miners around the country are seeking a national agreement with a commitment to pay parity between mines. They have dropped their pay claim from six per cent to five per cent, but talks in Christchurch broke down last night with employers refusing to offer more than 2.8 per cent.
EPMU national secretary Andrew Little said that a claim by Solid Energy today that there was an agreement to return to talks at the end of the month was wrong.
“Talks broke down because Solid Energy and its contractors would not lift their offer above 2.8 per cent,” he said.
“They were told that the situation would be reported back to members, who would decide what action would be taken.”