Thiess accused of failing to follow the correct process

THE bitter fallout following the sacking of 95 Collinsville Mine workers has intensified.

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) has accused contracting company Thiess of failing to follow correct processes when determining which workers would lose their jobs.

The mine is owned by Xstrata Coal, however Thiess operates the project.

It was revealed in December that 95 mine workers would lose their jobs due to poor coal prices.

CFMEU district president Stephen Smyth said since then the union had become concerned over how Thiess was selecting which workers would go.

"Length of service at the mine, absenteeism, training skills and discipline was the criteria but the company weren't applying it how they should have been," Mr Smyth said. "They were starting to change the criteria.

"If people are to be laid off then ... everyone (should be) treated the same and not ... left up to management just because they may have a personal dislike or due to union involvement.

"We want it open and transparent, which in our view hasn't been occurring." Mr Smyth said the union was in discussions with Thiess and had recently met with Fair Work Australia in an attempt to resolve the issue.

"We're still working out the detail," he said.

"Obviously Xstrata isn't squeaky clean but because Thiess is the employer they will be meeting with representatives of the union."

However, Thiess has refuted Mr Smyth's claims, and said the dismissal process had been transparent.

"In order to give our Collinsville team as much notice as possible, we commenced the consultation process early in November 2012 - two months prior to confirmation of final production plans and redundancy numbers," a Thiess spokeswoman said.

"We have provided a transparent process through employee consultation and regular discussions with union representatives which was fully implemented in line with the employee agreement to which the unions are a party.

"We have provided all employees with a number of options including voluntary redundancies and opportunities to express interest in relocating to other sites with available roles.

"We continue to provide a range of support services to all affected employees."


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