Collinsville mine workers notified of redundancies

MORE than 300 employees at a mine at Collinsville - almost the entire staff - have received a notice of redundancy from employer Thiess as the company prepares to hand over operation of the mine to owners Glencore Xstrata.

CFMEU mining and engineering division president Stephen Smyth confirmed yesterday the new operator, which takes over on September 1, is refusing to employ staff under their current working conditions and has been pushing for pay cuts and to change how the rosters work.

"They don't want to honour an agreement that's been in place for a long time," he said.

He said Thiess had to comply by the current agreement and send out the notice of redundancy to employees.

A Glencore Xstrata spokesman said they hadn't decided on how they would recruit staff and how many staff they would employ, but said they were intending to recruit locally.

"There are skills in the local fields, in Collinsville, which we're hoping to utilise," he said.

Glencore announced in February it would take over ownership and operation of the mine to ensure its future. The spokesman said they were making the necessary changes to keep the mine running.

Meanwhile, Mr Smyth said notices of redundancy had "gutted" the community.

"A lot of people are angry, a lot of people are upset because a lot don't know what the future holds," he said.

He said cutting all the staff at Collinsville would ultimately destroy the town.

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