AMSJ » Qld coal mine tipped to be sold after worker pay dispute

Qld coal mine tipped to be sold after worker pay dispute

Blackwater Coal Mine
Blackwater Coal Mine

A fossil fuel producer could exit one of its new sites in Queensland’s Central Highlands region.

Whitehaven Coal is rumoured to be deciding whether to sell its recently acquired Blackwater coal mine, 226km west of Rockhampton.

The operation formerly owned by BHP Mitsubishi Alliance is speculated to be worth up to US$2.5 billion (A$3.8B). The sum represents as much as 78.1 per cent of the total amount Whitehaven paid for both the Blackwater and Daunia coal mines.

“Whitehaven has previously flagged a possible selldown after paying up for the Queensland assets last year in an auction, when it was advised by UBS,” News Limited reported.

“Two parties – one from Japan and one from India – may be about to surface as buyers of a stake. While the identities are unknown, sources pointed to steel producer JSW Group of India or Nippon of Japan.”

Rumours circulated just months after 300 employees rejected Whitehaven’s bid to introduce WorkChoices agreement offsets, which reportedly absorb future superannuation increases and strip those affected of up to $100,000 in accrued entitlements. This was feared to affect those planning to retire or accept a redundancy package.

Very negative feedback prompted management to withdraw its proposal.

“We have heard your feedback about the guarantee of annual earnings clause and the potential for this to remove entitlements that people currently enjoy. This is not Whitehaven’s intent,” executive general manager – operations Ian Humphris previously said in an internal email obtained by the Collieries’ Staff and Officials Association.

“Whitehaven will be issuing a contract amendment to remove the guarantee of annual earnings clause. This will ensure all transferring Blackwater and Daunia staff can continue to enjoy their current entitlements once they become Whitehaven employees. Whitehaven will also apply this to open cut overseers.”

CSOA congratulated employees on an “incredible win” at the time.

“Workers were given just seven days to sign new offers, which stripped them of a range of conditions or face termination without redundancy pay. Whilst Whitehaven has now agreed to honour the transfer of entitlements of 300 staff, and we thank them for their cooperation, this matter highlights a real risk in the industry,” Queensland organiser Zac Gallagher earlier said.

Employer accused of pushing Qld coal workers to give up entitlements, resign
Qld coal workers avoid losing up to $100K due to negative ‘feedback’
Central Qld coal mine sells for up to $200M
Mine collapses after failing to find new owner.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment