AMSJ » Coal employees win unfair dismissal case
Industrial Relations LATEST NEWS LEGAL SPEAK New South Wales

Coal employees win unfair dismissal case

Metropolitan Coal Mine
Metropolitan Coal Mine

A mineral producer unreasonably terminated work agreements and outsourced roles, a court found.

A Federal Court judge recently ruled that Peabody Energy crew members unjustly lost their jobs before being replaced by external contractors at Helensburgh coal mine.

The Mining and Energy Union (MEU) successfully argued that dismissing 22 people and replacing them with labour hire employees during June 2020 did not constitute “genuine redundancies”.

“The Federal Court accepted union arguments that the affected permanent employees could have been reasonably redeployed. The decision may assist in challenging future redundancies of permanent workers across the mining industry where thousands of non-specialist jobs are outsourced [to companies like Mentser and Nexus],” MEU said in a public statement.

“Almost half of the coal mining workforce in the southern district are labour hire contractors. It is a model that employers have embraced to erode pay, rights, conditions and job security. If we can restore permanent work as the dominant model in our industry, everyone benefits,” south west district vice president Bob Timbs added.

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