July 18, 2019
Coal miners in the Illawarra are being urged not to sign up with a new contracting company that has backflipped on hiring workers under a new union deal.
PIMS Group, a new entrant in the heavily-used Illawarra contract labour market, has a contract to build two new roadways at Appin mine. Earlier this year PIMS negotiated a deal to ensure fair wages and working conditions for contract coal miners at Appin. However, at the request of Appin Colliery owners South32 – who objected to the pay and conditions on offer – PIMS has now agreed to outsource its employees from WorkPac.
This means workers’ pay and conditions will be underpinned by the WorkPac Enterprise Agreement, which offers lower rates of pay. The offer also includes a bonus based on metres of road cut, which the Union fears will lead to unsafe work practices among a workforce already vulnerable through lack of job security.
“We are worried that as soon as PIMS comes under pressure from South32, they will cut workers’ pay. We’ve seen it happen before – we don’t want to see it happen again.
“This is a nasty, greedy smoke and mirrors trick dreamt up by South32 and administered by PIMS Group,” Mr Timbs said.
“We believed we had an agreement in principle with PIMS for fair and reasonable conditions for what would have been their workforce at Appin.
But it appears South32 refused to have the worker friendly conditions at Appin, so PIMS and South 32 have decided to use another company to employ the PIMS workforce.
“PIMS is a newcomer in the Illawarra and it couldn’t have got off to a worse start. Right now we are urging all coal miners to say ‘no’ to any employment with PIMS until it stops playing its dodgy game with South32.”