Change District


Northern Mining & NSW Energy

NSW South Western




Western Australia

New South Wales

South32 sale an opportunity for more permanent jobs 

February 29, 2024

The Mining and Energy Union (MEU) said today that South32’s announcement it had found a buyer for its Illawarra coal mines could be good news for secure jobs in the region. 

MEU South West District Secretary Andy Davey said workers at Appin and Dendrobium were informed this morning of the sale. 

“People will be feeling uncertain today about what the sale means for them. We have just received this news and will be working through the issues and seeking to meet with the buyers.

“We are optimistic that this can be a positive outcome for Illawarra coal mineworkers. 

“South32 has driven a toxic and divisive employment model built on outsourcing permanent jobs to labour hire companies and pitting contracting firms against each other to undercut wages. It’s good riddance as far as we are concerned.”

Mr Davey said that while employment conditions of direct employees covered by the site Enterprise Agreement would automatically transfer, the MEU would also be pushing for secure jobs for the hundreds of labour hire and contractor mineworkers across the two sites. 

There are approximately 1000 directly employed and 1600 labour hire and contractor mineworkers across the two sites. 

“These mines are a major employer in our region and set the standard for employment conditions. 

“We will approach this change of owner as an opportunity for more direct employment for Illawarra coal mineworkers. Along with new federal laws giving more rights to labour hire workers, this is a good opportunity to reset working conditions and improve job security in our Illawarra coal industry.”

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