320 jobs will be lost at Collinsville Coal Mine

MORE than 300 jobs will be lost when Theiss' contract with the Collinsville Coal Mine ends tomorrow.

Glencore Xstrata, which owns the mine, announced they would take over the day-to-day operation of the mine in February.

A spokesman for Glencore said the company would be making several "major changes" to address current losses and that would mean ceasing operations at the mine "in the meantime".

He said 320 jobs would be cut.

He could not say when the mine would be back up and running.

Central Queensland Coal Communities advocate Jim Pearce slammed the decision and claimed the mining giant was trying to "de-unionise" the workforce by bringing in a new one.

He said more than 180 members of that workforce were Collinsville residents, many of whom were now considering moving out of town.

"They (Glencore) want a more flexible workplace agreement," Mr Pearce said.

"I've spoken to a number of business people here and I didn't talk to anyone who felt confident about their future," he said.

The Glencore spokesman said they were negotiating a new workplace agreement with the union "which is consistent with other operations across Queensland".

He said they wanted to offer higher salaries and superannuation but they did want a more "flexible agreement".

Mr Pearce said considering how hazardous the mine was, he couldn't understand Glencore's decision to cut experienced workers.

"I can't get my head around an organisation that thinks they're doing the right thing by getting rid of this workforce and taking on a new one," he said.

"They have the skills, knowledge and expertise and, more importantly, they know the geographical layout of the mine.

"There's millions and millions of dollars worth of expertise there and they're just going to kick it out the front gate."



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