July 18, 2019
Mineworkers at Queensland’s Cameby Downs coal mine have received up to $17,000 each in backpay after their employer Yancoal required them to participate in pre-start briefings before their paid workday started.
All mineworkers are encouraged to check the terms of their agreement or talk to their Union delegate if briefings are being held outside of paid work hours.
At Cameby Downs, workers on some crews were being bussed from their accommodation camp each morning arriving at the site at approximately 5.40am. They were then required to participate in a 15-20 minute ‘pre-start’ meeting about issues that have arisen in the previous shift and requirements for the day, before starting work at 6am.
CFMEU Mining and Energy successfully challenged the practice, with the Fair Work Commission agreeing that the pre-start meetings were not included within the shifts and salaries allowed for under the site Enterprise Agreement.
For some crews, the practice had been in place for years, allowing for substantial backpay claims paid out to workers last week and costing the company about a quarter of a million dollars.