THE union representing miners in a workplace dispute with Boggabri Coal have rejected claims it is being disingenuous, instead pointing the finger at the mining company.
Idemitsu has been negotiating with its Boggabri workers for seven months over a new workplace agreement, and the company hit out at CFMMEU for not bargaining in good faith.
CFMMEU district vice president Jeff Drayton said the union met with the company on Tuesday and was prepared to concede ground or withdraw "four or five issues".
However, Mr Drayton was told by Idemitsu's negotiating team that the company's directors in Japan had "cemented" their position due to the strikes - a claim he said was soon found to be misleading, with the negotiating team contradicting itself.
"It was an attempt to strong arm and scare the employees," Mr Drayton said.
CFMMEU district president Peter Jordan said many of the 20 concessions the company claims to have made were still outstanding (full list at the bottom of the story).
"The fact of the matter is, there has been no other item resolved, other than the roster issue," Mr Jordan said.
"I want to make it very clear that yesterday, the company turned up and tried to lie to us. Our members remain outraged by Idemitsu's actions and will continue to take industrial action in the work place."
EARLIER: Boggabri Coal makes 20 concessions, claims union acting 'disingenuous'
BOGGABRI Coal says it's made 20 concessions during the seven-month workplace negotiations with its workers, but believes the union's campaign has been "disingenuous".
The workers, led by CFMMEU have gone on strike a number of times, including a two-day stop work meeting in Gunnedah last week.
The Boggabri Coal workers claim they get about $40,000 a year less than at Idemitsu mines in Muswellbrook and Ensham "with no explanation".
But Idemitsu, the mining company that owns Boggabri Coal, accused the union of "peddling false and misleading claims to our employees and the community".
"The proposed agreement tabled will ensure Boggabri Coal employees are the highest paid open-cut mineworkers in the Gunnedah Basin," an Idemitsu spokesperson said.
"In addition to increases in salary Boggabri Coal has made approximately 20 changes to conditions in the agreement, which will provide increased benefits and flexibility for our employees."
Independent arbitration and dispute resolution remains an outstanding issue.
Idemitsu reject claims the tabled agreement didn't reflect industry standards, and pointed out it was the CFMMEU who signed off on the previous enterprise agreements.
"They simply cannot have it both ways," the spokesperson said.
"Boggabri Coal has been negotiating in good faith and it is time the CFMMEU put their members first ahead of trying to get headlines in the media."
CFMMEU has been contacted for comment.
List of changes Boggabri Coal say it has made during negotiations, with union response below
1. Training opportunities for a minimum number of skills over time
Although the company has agreed to include training opportunities for a minimum number of skills over time, the clause as currently worded is not acceptable to the Union.
2. Agreement required for change to current 7 day 24 hour roster patterns
3. Annual salary for standard pays each fortnight
The parties have not agreed to annual salaries for standard pays each fortnight, as the company's proposal to reduce pay on personal leave days that coincide with a public holiday, will reduce the pay, resulting in irregular pays.
4. Increases to remuneration - 2.5%, 2.5%, 3%, 3.5% per annum
5. Increases apply from anniversary of date of employee vote, not FWC approval
The Union maintains its position to have increases in remuneration apply from the expiry of the current Agreement.
6. Increase to Trade Allowance
7. Change to bonus to be 100% product coal
The parties agreed to a 100% product coal based bonus during negotiations, whereby employees would receive a pro-rata payment based upon the percentage of the product coal target. You agreed to the Union's proposal. At the following meeting, you tabled a document which did not include the agreed bonus scheme. When questioned about the bonus not being included, you advised that you were no longer offering that bonus system. In our view, the change in position was contrary to bargaining in good faith and the Union reserves its right in relation to same.
8. Increase Accident Pay to Total Salary first 39 weeks (currently Base Salary for first 2 weeks)
9. Annual leave - shorter notice not unreasonably withheld for less than a full swing
10. Annual leave formula for minimum numbers approved in production crews in mining
No agreement. The Union maintains its position to have an annual leave formula for minimum numbers of production crews in mining on leave, and for employees to be able to take annual leave in circumstances where the minimum number has not been met (i.e. there is a vacancy available to take annual leave), even where short notice is provided.
11. Personal leave paid at Total Salary when taken (currently base rate)
Agreed, except for personal leave on a public holiday were deductions are made.
12. Personal leave paid at Total Salary when cashed out (currently base rate)
13. Personal leave paid on resignation at Total Salary (currently not paid on resignation)
14. Compassionate leave paid at Total Salary (currently at base rate)
15. Community service leave paid at Total Salary (currently unpaid)
16. Parental leave (6 weeks primary carer/1 week secondary carer) paid at Total Salary (currently no payment)
17. Annual leave taken on a public holiday paid at Total Salary (currently at base rate)
18. Public holiday falling during LSL paid at Total Salary (currently at base rate)
19. Daylight saving clarified that Total Salary paid even if only 11 hours is worked due to time change
20. Crib break times have been defined for production crews in mining