Mining firm Anglo American has confirmed it will slash 100 jobs from its Grosvenor coal mine in central Queensland, as the mining union warns sacked workers could be left without redundancy packages.
The cuts come just months after an underground explosion at the Moranbah site that seriously injured five workers and immediately suspended all longwall mining.
The mineworkers affected by the job cuts are employed on a casual basis through labour hire company One Key Resources.
An Anglo American spokesperson said the company has been “reviewing its workforce size before the safe restart of operations in the second half of 2021”.
“After more than five months since we ceased production, we have reluctantly taken these steps to ensure that the mine can continue to support the majority of its remaining workforce, of around 650 people, and successfully return to safe production next year,” the spokesperson said.
“As an initial step, over the last month, One Key Resources has been seeking expressions of interest from the Grosvenor workforce for voluntary redundancies.
“Over and above what is required in workforce agreements, Anglo American will be providing redundancy benefits to the eligible One Key workforce impacted by the workforce reductions.”
But Stephen Smyth from the mining branch of the CFMEU said the workers’ redundancy entitlements remained under a cloud because they had not been hired as permanent employees.
“Some of these employees have been there for five or six years and yet they’re all employed as casuals, and now we’ve got a situation where, at no fault of their own, they’re going to lose their job,” Mr Smyth said.
“Depending on the classification — how they’re employed — they’ll be entitled to nothing for their years of service at their mine.”
An Anglo American spokesperson said the 100 roles set to be cut would include voluntary redundancies and the company would assess opportunities to absorb some of the impacted people into other roles at the mine.
He said the job cuts would come as a double blow in the wake of the underground explosion, which had a devastating impact on the workforce and the families of the injured men.
“The fact that they’ve had an event there and they’ve continued to mismanage that mine has now resulted in workers losing their jobs, is certainly a hard pill to swallow for those workers,” he said.
“It’s terrible, the system’s broken.”
Mr Smyth said the union would consult with One Key Resources and Anglo American next week.