Australia: Glencore steps up provocations against locked-out miners
20 October 2017
Swiss mining conglomerate Glencore is stepping up provocations against 190 locked-out workers at its Oaky North underground coal mine near the central Queensland town of Tieri. The company is seeking to force through an enterprise agreement that slashes pay and working conditions.
The miners have repeatedly voted down the company’s retrograde “offers” that erode conditions relating to severance and retrenchment, dispute procedures and the right to workplace representation and would allow Glencore to alter rosters without consultation. The workers were locked out on June 9 after taking limited industrial action the previous month.
Last week, the company, with the aid of the corporate media and the Liberal-National and Labor parties, launched a witch-hunt against the locked-out workers.
Miners were targeted for protesting on the side of the road leading to the mine site, against the lockout and a scabbing operation involving the use of contract and management labour to continue production.
The Murdoch-owned Courier Mail published articles, based on “security reports” from Glencore, asserting “instances of disgraceful and abusive behaviour” by workers. The reports made unsubstantiated claims that company security staff witnessed one picketer threatening to use a crow bar on people entering the mine site and another threatening to rape their children.
The recordings from security cameras installed by the company to intimidate the picketers were also handed to the police. Videos published by the Courier Mail and other corporate outlets do not support the claims made by the company. They show workers shouting at contract and security staff driving past the protest….