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Miners cautious about Solid Energy announcement


13 August 2015
Media Release

Miners cautious about Solid Energy announcement

Workers at Solid Energy mines across the country are relieved that today’s announcement that the company is going into voluntary administration didn’t include closures or immediate redundancies.

“Solid Energy has spent the past few years trying to get itself back into profitability by closing mines and cutting jobs,” says Ged O’Connell, EPMU assistant national secretary.

“The fear was that the company would just liquidate and leave miners in the lurch without fair compensation for sticking by their employer through tough times. Our members are cautiously optimistic that there can now be a process to determine the best outcome for everyone.”

Since Solid Energy got into financial trouble in 2012 after a series of poor investment decisions, nearly 900 jobs have been lost at the Stockton, Spring Creek and Huntly East mines.

“Solid Energy was always going to struggle with a low international coal price, but bad management got them into a situation where they simply couldn’t weather the storm,” says Ged O’Connell.

“The tragedy is that workers and their communities paid the price instead.

“There is still a risk of liquidation, but we hope that voluntary administration will mean more jobs can be saved, and workers’ entitlements to compensation and annual leave payments will be secured.

“We will be a strong voice at the table to make sure that happens.”


ENDS

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