Contributed

Christensen battling mines using 'casualised' workforces

CENTRAL Queensland workforces should not be "casualised", says Dawson MP George Christensen.

Mr Christensen said he was alarmed by news that some 300 workers at BMA's Blackwater mine were to be replaced by contract staff "to ensure the ongoing viability of the mine".

He said that people who do mining work should enjoy full-time, rather than casual, rates and conditions.

"We all realise there's been a downturn in coal prices, but if the issue is economic, the mine operators could sit down with the unions and sensibly negotiate rates of pay that work, rather than retrenching people and casualising them," Mr Christensen said.

"There's also some onus on the unions to be realistic in what they ask for at a time when the price of coal is low."

Mr Christensen said he was keen to hear from people with experience of jobs casualisation.

"I am calling on people who have evidence of full-time jobs that have been casualised within the industry to come forward with evidence so we can present it to the Fair Work Commission," Mr Christensen said.

"We can't go and get this changed on the basis of stories.

"We need hard proof.

"To this end, I'm willing to work with the unions to get that proof."



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