Mining Union: Xstrata Must Come Clean On Spot Market Gambling, Future Plans

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17th December 2008, 06:40pm - Views: 908
Mining Union: Xstrata Must Come Clean on Spot Market Gambling, Future Plans

Xstrata Coal must come clean on their coal price contract arrangements, the Union representing Queensland's mining workers said today.

"Companies like Xstrata have been caught out not planning for market fluctuations in demand and changes in coal prices - resulting in workforce redundancies. This has come at a great cost to workers and their families just before Christmas." Stuart Vaccaneo, Vice President of the Mining Union said.

"We are calling on Xstrata to meet with the Union and come clean on their contract arrangements and the impact their seemingly wayward business strategies will have on their workforce during this time of global uncertainty.

"Companies that play the coal spot market as opposed to locking in long term contracts at stable prices when the market is in good shape, need to think twice, because they are gambling with more than shareholders money. In our view, they're gambling with the livelihood of working families and the sustainability of important regional mining communities.

"Mining companies can't just march on into a town, mine its resources and then at the first sign of turbulence start to slash jobs. These companies need to make long term commitments to these areas and put in place business strategies to cope with fluctuations in market conditions.

"The state government grants leases to this land on the basis that mining companies will act responsibly both in business and in discharging their obligations to the community. Mr Vaccaneo said.

Union representatives are yet to receive answers from Xstrata about how the redundancy process will work and future strategies to minimise the impact of global conditions of mining workers and their families.

"Xstrata seem to be dragging their heels on consulting with the union representing their dedicated workforce and this is creating further uncertainty for families around Christmas. We want to see an agreed process that allows minimal disruption to operations and a fair process for everyone. They need to work constructively with the union on resolving these issues" Mr Vaccaneo said.

For Comment:
Stuart Vaccaneo
(Executive Vice President, CFMEU Mining Division Queensland)
0418 885 360


Jim Valery
(State Secretary)
on 0427 415 708.

Further information:
Richard Alcorn
0419 654 936

SOURCE: Mining Union

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