Glencore has locked 175 workers out of Oaky North coal mine for more than 200 days.
Glencore has locked 175 workers out of Oaky North coal mine for more than 200 days. Campbell Gellie

Glencore critical of locked out Oaky North miners

MINING company Glencore has unleashed on CFMEU members after eight of them travelled to Canberra and told politicians how hard it is being locked out of their mine for more than 200 days.

The Oaky North miners' stories garnered support from National Party politicians, and resulted in Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen calling on Glencore to stop the rolling lockouts.

In response, a Glencore spokesperson said the lodge members were not victims.

The company statement, which would have been approved by management, said the union was using the Fair Work Act to justify a national campaign and using 'bully boy tactics' against the 245 people who continued to work at Oaky North mine.

"On 10 January 2018, these CFMEU members shook hands with us on a new enterprise agreement in front of a Fair Work Commission Deputy President which could have ended the lockout weeks ago," the statement read. "The CFMEU members at Oaky North then walked away from this handshake deal and a return to work by voting against the agreement."

The statement goes on to say that instead of returning to work, the miners decided to stay at the picket line: "They have continued to accept public donations for members who are receiving more than $1600 per week from the union as well as collecting an approximate average of $300 per week in coal bonuses from Oaky North for work done by those being abused as they travel to and from work".

CFMEU district vice president Chris Brodsky said he was disappointed the weekly payments to workers by the union had been made public. "It is fundamentally wrong, it's inappropriate to ask people what they get paid and this is no different" he said.

"We don't shy away from the fact that we support our members... but it is inappropriate to talk about what people are paid."

Mr Brodsky did say he was happy to secure support from National party politicians.

He said all it took was eight of the 175 locked out workers to travel to Canberra and tell their stories, to Capricornia MP Michelle Landry, Dawson MP George Christensen, Flynn MP Ken O'Down, Senator Matt Canavan and Minister for the Workplace and Deregulation Craig Laundy.

"It was all about getting down to Canberra and telling the story of what is going on with people's lives, men with wives, kids and communities," he said.



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