Gujarat NRE Coking Coal union members on Friday voted to walk off the job if they did not receive a guarantee of payment from the company by Tuesday.
However, they could still be left begging because Gujarat owes in excess of $8 million to the Australian Taxation Office.
In the event payment was made to workers, a garnishee order in place would mean the money would likely go directly to the ATO.
Shareholders voted on Wednesday to allow Indian mining giant Jindal Steel to takeover Gujarat in the hope new management might bring relief for workers.
Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) officials met with Jindal representatives before Friday's union meeting at Dapto Leagues Club, and were told it was unclear whether the company could legally deposit wages into a hardship fund established by the union for workers.
CFMEU south western district vice president Bob Timbs said Jindal representatives had told him they were unaware of the extent of the dire state of Gujarat NRE before Wednesday’s $150 million deal for majority ownership.
‘‘I don’t believe they did know exactly what they were getting into,’’ Mr Timbs said.
‘‘They’ve said to us ... they just need to take a good look at it and make sure they don’t expose themselves to any further losses.’’
However, Jindal Steel is yet to officially take up position as majority shareholder – and is still officially in a transitional phase.
In the event there was no payment guarantee by Tuesday, Mr Timbs said it was likely union members would picket the company’s two mines, NRE No1 Colliery and NRE Wongawilli Colliery.
However, he said it was yet to be decided whether those pickets would be CFMEU sanctioned.
Much of the anger from the 300 workers was directed at Arun Jagatramka who, according to the Australian Securities Exchange, is still Gujarat executive chairman, despite reportedly stepping down from the position on Wednesday evening.
Death threats were repeatedly called out from the crowd, directed at Mr Jagatramka.
Mr Timbs said he could understand members’ anger.
‘‘When it all boils down to it, with any chairman the buck stops with them and the buck does stop with Arun,’’ he said.
‘‘Showing up to a shareholders meeting when men haven’t been paid for four weeks in a $400,000 Bentley probably isn’t a good look.’’.
A spokeswoman for NRE Gujarat confirmed Mr Jagatramka was due to fly to India last night ‘‘as scheduled’’.
She would not confirm reports his Russell Vale office had been cleared out, and said he would be returning to Australia in two weeks’ time.
She said the composition of company’s board was yet to be resolved and when decided, would go to the ASX.