Gujarat NRE Coking Coal workers have been handed payslips showing they have been paid their full wages, superannuation, taxes and union contributions despite not being paid for nearly a month.
This move angered the wife of one worker who said it added "insult to injury" to see statements indicating her husband had been paid for the past four weeks, while his bank balance remained unchanged.
"They are sending out payslips to say that they have put this money in our bank account and that they have paid our taxes," the woman said.
"How do you think it feels for these men to be handed payslips each week with nothing in them?
"They are just useless pieces of paper."
The woman's husband's pay statements, which were provided to the Illawarra Mercury yesterday, also record that about $4000 has been paid to superannuation company AusCoal since July.
However, last month AusCoal confirmed Gujarat had not paid any compulsory superannuation payments to workers since March.
The miner's wife said this meant workers did not know which of their entitlements had been paid by Gujarat. "We don't know how much is owed to the tax man, or how much has not been paid on our car [because we have a novated lease] because according to these statements that has all been paid," she said.
"And how can we walk into the bank and say 'I can't pay my mortgage' if it says here that you've been paid?"
The miners union yesterday confirmed the company had continued to print regular payslips and distribute them in workers' pigeonholes, despite stopping actual wage payments on September 18.
According to CFMEU lodge secretary at Russell Vale mine, Wilf O'Donnell, reactions to the continued delivery of the slips had been mixed.
"Most of the guys I've spoken to have actually been laughing about it, you know by saying 'I can't take this to the pub and buy a beer' but I can also understand why some people would be upset," he said.
"It seems a bit unusual to me, because if they're not going to pay you why would they issue the payslips?"
A Gujarat spokeswoman said statements showing entitlements had been distributed to all employees in an effort to keep track of what was owed.
"This is the mechanism by which the payroll system can keep track of these entitlements," she said in a statement.
"Funds will be transferred when they become available."
CFMEU southwestern district vice president Bob Timbs said he had previously asked Gujarat NRE to stop providing incorrect pay statements.
"We've asked the company to stop, because if they're not paying they need to show zero on [the payslips]," he said.
"But regardless of whether they have been sending out payslips that say workers have been paid, we all know that our members have not been paid and we will make sure every cent of those members' entitlements is paid back if the company survives.
"And if the company doesn't survive, we will make sure that every cent available [through federal grants] will be made available to our members."
Gujarat NRE shareholders are due to vote whether to allow a takeover from Jindal Steel and Power to go ahead at a meeting scheduled for 2pm tomorrow.
Yesterday, the Gujarat spokeswoman said the company understood that chairman Arun Jagatramka would be attending the meeting in Towradgi.
She also expected the deal to make Jindal the majority shareholder would be passed.