Four weeks without a pay cheque made it hard for Ryan Warth to buy birthday presents for his kids.
Mr Warth works at the Port Kembla Coal Terminal and, due to lockouts and strike action, he hasn't been to work since January 19.
He said that time coincided with a whole lot of special occasions in his house.
"I just had both of my children's birthdays, my wife's birthday and my wedding anniversary, all in the last four weeks," Mr Warth said.
"They were not what they should be, it makes it hard. The kids wake up and expect to see a present or maybe three, but you just have to do what you can do."
He said his daughter is going away to the snow for school camp, which will cost around $1000.
"So where I’m going to pull that money from in the next two months if this continues I’m not really sure," he said.
Some workers on overseas holidays during the lockouts have not had their annual leave paid.
"They’ve put it in beforehand, it’s been approved and now they’re not paying it," he said.
"I can't imagine what it’s like for them fellas."
When asked if workers on leave were not being paid, a PKCT spokeswoman said the company was "complying with its obligations under the Fair Work Act".
The spokeswoman said the company had concerns about workers going without weeks of pay due to the lockouts.
"PKCT remains committed to providing long-term job security to its blue-collar workforce," the spokeswoman said.
"It is also committed to providing its valued employees significantly above award wages and conditions and a pay rise.
"It hopes that the union can put the employees first and accept a moratorium on industrial disruption to the benefit of all employees and their families and the Illawarra region."