The South Coast Labour Council says the union movement will be on hand to support Gujarat NRE Coking Coal workers no matter what decisions they make – or are made by the company – regarding their futures.
Last week the Gujarat board, now headed by Jindal Steel’s Australian boss Jasbir Singh, announced plans to inject millions of dollars into the cash-strapped miner, with a promise to free up $50million to pay workers’ wages and keep the mines running in the short term.
SCLC secretary Arthur Rorris said the trade union movement would be on hand to offer solidarity as the situation continued to unfold.
‘‘Our message is that is doesn’t matter how long it takes the union movement sticks together,’’ Mr Rorris said.
Mr Rorris said workers and officials had done ‘‘an extraordinary job’’.
‘‘If there was an easy way it would have been taken,’’ he said.
‘‘They could have reacted in a number of ways...a simpler way could have meant there was no chance of recovering their funds.’’
‘‘This is about the future as well.’’
With NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and his ministerial team in Nowra today for a community cabinet meeting, Mr Rorris said the Gujarat NRE situation, and how it could impact on a regional economy, was ‘‘an alarm bell for our political leaders’’.
‘‘A lot needs to be done,’’ Mr Rorris said.
‘‘Some things the government can’t control – and no-one is blaming the government for the NRE situation – but it underlies the imperative for governments at all levels to be maintaining and increasing the services that they provide and jobs these sustain.’’