GRIFFIN Coal and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Electrical Union (CFMEU) are confident an agreement will be reached on pay and conditions by the close of business tomorrow (Friday).
The disagreement over 12½-hour shifts had been settled with a win for both sides.
Twelve-hour shifts remain but the company has introduced a four-hour “nanny shift” running from 11.30am to 3pm to enable continuity of production.
“It’s all looking positive for an amicable agreement by the end of the week,” Griffin’s industrial relations general manager Chris Godfrey said.
A meeting with union representatives in Collie on Monday was “quite fruitful” and further negotiations on the four-year agreement on pay and conditions were continuing with union representatives.
“We are close to putting forward an agreement that suits the company and its production employees,” Mr Godfrey said. “The next step is for it to go to the members.”
CFMEU energy and mining section secretary Gary Wood said the parties were very close to an agreement.
“We are arguing about less than one per cent over the term of the agreement and hope to resolve it before Friday.”
The nanny shift would avert the need for 12½-hour shifts and give married couples the opportunity for more income. Parents could get the kids off to school, put in four hours at the mine, then be home before the children.
“It’s a win for the company and the workers,” he said.
Mr Wood also said contractors at Muja South expansion would be paid the same rates as existing employees. That would mean locals could apply for work there on the same pay as the mine. “It doesn’t matter who is paying people so long as they have work,” he said.
Mr Wood added there was some way to go but talks were heading in the right direction.
If agreement is not reached, the miners could seek to take protected industrial action from June 1.
PREMIER 'YES' VOTE EXPECTED
PREMIER Coal production workers were voting last night (Wednesday) on their pay and conditions for the next three years.
The meeting was due to start at 5.20pm and CFMEU energy and mining section secretary Gary Wood said he felt it would be supported.