Helensburgh Metropolitan Colliery workers have resoundingly rejected Peabody Energy’s latest enterprise agreement offer.
Results from an anonymous ballot held earlier this week were announced yesterday, with 179 of 188 who took part in the ballot voting against the new pay deal.
Approximately 200 workers were eligible to take part in the vote, and there was one informal vote received.
Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union south-western district vice-president Bob Timbs said the result hadn’t surprised workers.
‘‘You can’t get much better than that,’’ he said, referring to the results.
‘‘It sends a signal to the company that the workforce is very much united.’’
The union and Peabody have begun conciliation talks before the Fair Work Commission, with proceedings expected to continue into next week.
Peabody has also brought a second matter before Fair Work in an attempt to stop further union-supported industrial action.
‘‘Peabody met with the CFMEU yesterday at the Fair Work Commission,’’ a company spokeswoman said.
‘‘Meetings are confidential and ongoing.’’
The union has been at loggerheads with the company for more than six months over the new agreement.
The dispute has resulted in ongoing industrial action, and the company has locked workers out on several occasions.
Peabody’s current offer seeks to limit wage increases to zeroper cent this year and 2per cent in each of the two following years, with additional bonuses.
The union has been pushing for a 4per cent annual wage increase, with workers prepared to sacrifice bonuses to the amount equalling the 4 per cent pay rise.
The union is also prepared to accept a zero per cent increase in the first 12 months on the condition the company renegotiates at the end of that period.
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