Queensland Labor Senator Murray Watt visited Middlemount on Tuesday to meet with workers made redundant from the German Creek mine.
Queensland Labor Senator Murray Watt visited Middlemount on Tuesday to meet with workers made redundant from the German Creek mine. Emily Smith

Senator to confront Anglo American over redundancies

MARCHING into Anglo American's offices and asking it to give redundant workers their jobs back might sound like a futile mission, but a Queensland Senator has promised to give it a go.

Labor Senator Murray Watt travelled to Middlemount on Tuesday to meet with the 82 workers recently made redundant from the German Creek mine, many of whom had been part of a strike over protracted enterprise bargaining agreements.

As he spoke to The Daily Mercury on the return journey, Mr Watt described the feeling of frustration in the town, stemming from the strong belief permanent positions had been replaced with labour hire work.

"It's not as if there's a shortage of work. (There's also a belief) mines all around the town are targeting union workers," Mr Watt said.

"Some (who were made redundant) have been applying for other permanent jobs around town (without success). The workers fear they have been black listed."

He was also concerned about the precedent axing jobs of striking workers had set.

Following the visit, he promised to meet with Anglo American and request the workers be given their jobs back.

He said it would also request the company "rethink it's use of labour hire", and vowed to seek amendments to legislation regarding the labour hire industry.

"If people are employed as labour hire for a long period of time, they should be employed permanently," he said.

Anglo American has been contacted for comment.



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