Workers prepare to strike at major coal terminal


WORKERS at New Hope's Brisbane coal terminal are preparing to vote on industrial action as they fight increased casualisation and job outsourcing.

Employees at Queensland Bulk Handling, owned and operated by coal company New Hope, will vote on industrial action at the weekend.

CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland vice president Shane Brunker said nine months of meetings failed to deliver an acceptable proposal for a new Enterprise Agreement.

He said terminal workers were fighting to restore job security protections by improving conditions for casuals, clamping down on contracting work that should be performed by permanent employees and giving permanent workers the ability to access career development.

"The QBH workforce has had enough of watching permanent jobs be cut and replaced with contractors or casuals," he said.

"It's a small workforce and New Hope can afford to do the right thing by supporting permanent jobs."

Coal at the Port of Brisbane. Pic: (AAP image, John Gass)
Coal at the Port of Brisbane. Pic: (AAP image, John Gass)

Queensland Bulk Handling, billed as the state's leading coal export terminal, can process up to 48,000 tonnes each day and 10 million tonnes annually.

About 600 direct jobs are supported at the site.

Mr Brunker said the company's financial health meant it could agree to the union's demands.

"New Hope's profit jumped by 40 per cent to $210 million over the past year," he said.

"They have sought and received community support over the Acland extension.

"The least they can do is support the workers who keep them in business."

New Hope Group declined to comment.