All Gujarat NRE workers will now receive one full week’s wages as part of a one-off payment that had threatened to exclude almost 50 employees.
On Thursday, workers were told they would only be paid for hours worked last week, which would have left 48 miners who did not work a shift without wages for a sixth week.
They have not been paid since September 18.
But in a meeting between representatives from the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, Gujarat NRE and Jindal Steel yesterday, CFMEU southwestern district vice-president Bob Timbs said Jindal Steel had agreed to pay workers from the Russell Vale and Wongawilli mines for the first week of missed wages, rather than the last.
Mr Timbs said he was glad all workers would now benefit from the payment.
‘‘They’re going to pay them for the first week they weren’t paid, and our look at that is that everyone was entitled to it. If they were on annual leave or sick leave, they were still entitled to a payment, so our look at it is everyone will be paid,’’ he said.
Mr Timbs understood the payments would start being processed yesterday afternoon.
He said the union would push for answers on when the remaining wages and superannuation would be paid. Superannuation has not been paid since March.
‘‘There’s some minor relief obviously that’s going to keep the wolves from the door for a week or so and at this stage it was getting to be desperate so any money going to those families is a good thing.’’
The Mercury sent questions regarding the decision to Gujarat yesterday, but the company did not respond by last night’s deadline.
Gujarat NRE had previously told workers a garnishee order from the Australian Taxation Office over its bank accounts prevented it from paying wages.
However, the ATO told the Mercury they had never prevented wages being paid and would not knowingly prevent wages being paid even if there was a garnishee order in place.
Gujarat management will meet with workers on Monday morning.