Underground supervisors will extend their strike at Australian mining firm South32’s Appin coking coal mine in New South Wales after the parties failed to reach an agreement.
A week-long strike by members of the Collieries’ Staff and Officials Association (CSOA) over a pay dispute began on 11 August and was scheduled to last one week. Workers voted to extend the stoppage by a further week to 1 September after a meeting with the company failed to reach a resolution on 18 August, lead CSOA organiser Belinda Giblin said.
“To date, South32 has not come back with a formal offer that addresses any of our concerns,” Giblin said on 22 August.
Workers will meet with South32 again on 23 August, with the union calling on the firm to offer a deal providing “fair and reasonable workplace conditions and remuneration”.
South32 does not expect a production impact to its Illawarra metallurgical coal mines from the extended strike but said it will continue to limit operations during the strike period because of safety concerns.
“We met with mining supervisors and their representatives on Friday and unfortunately we were unable to come to an agreement,” a South32 spokesperson said on 22 August.
“This industrial action will impact our ability to supervise our underground workforce and meet our work health and safety obligations. Given the critical safety role these supervisors play, we have taken the unfortunate but necessary decision to continue to make some parts of Appin mine non-operational during this time,” the spokesperson added.
South32 produced 6.52mn t of coal from its Illawarra metallurgical coal operations in Australia in the fiscal year to 30 June 2023, but expects production to fall to 5.3mn t in 2023-24 because of longwall moves at Appin and its nearby Dendrobium mine.