The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) has criticised an enterprise agreement by coal company New Hope Group at its West Moreton coal operations in Ipswich, Queensland, calling it “substandard”.

The sticking point for CFMEU is the proposed two-tier salary system, which would see an employee with 30 years’ service receive 2.3 per cent less than a new employee on an individual contract with minimal skills.

The CFMEU Mining and Energy Division Queensland District Vice President Shane Brunker said workers had deep concerns about New Hope’s divisive offer in the negotiations.

“The CFMEU is appalled that New Hope is placing its workers front and centre during campaigns, such as for its expansion plans at its other operations, but then increase their profits at the expense of its workers.

“This is simply about the company positioning itself to minimise costs when the mine closes in 2019, by reducing the final pay out for the segregated enterprise agreement workers. This action by New Hope is pure greed and immoral,” Mr Brunker said.

The CMFEU also claims that the offer did not provide transparency or re-course for employees with their “Performance recognition payments”, nor did it maintain compliance with the Coal Industry Award or Fair Work Act for dispute resolution or accident pay.

Mr Brunker said workers were anxious and struggling to assess the impact of the changes.

“We have members on both forms of employment contracts and it is causing a toxic environment among the work groups at the site.

“The company’s irresponsible actions have left the Union with no alternative but to campaign for a no vote in the agreement ballot from all workers at West Moreton.”

New Hope posted record profits of $156 million (post tax) in March this year, with revenues up 36 per cent to $509.4 million year over year (YoY).

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