Glencore says signs labor pacts at most of its Australian coal mines

Sign outside of Glencore HQ (Image from archives)

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Global miner Glencore on Friday said it had reached new labor agreements with workers at 13 of its coal mines in Australia, ending months of negotiations over wages and benefits.

The agreements are in the process of being finalised and include each of Glencore’s Hunter Valley collieries in New South Wales state, representing one of the world’s single biggest sources of thermal coal sold into export markets.

However, 190 workers remain locked out of Glencore’s Oaky North metallurgical coal mine in neighboring Queensland state, with operations being run at close to maximum capacity by management and outside contractors, according to a company spokesman.

Glencore and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) have been unable to hammer out a so-called enterprise work agreement for the mine since the last one expired in mid-2015, despite sitting down at the negotiating table 25 times, according to a company spokesman.

The dispute is focused on wages, benefits, working conditions and hiring practices.

Coal from the Oaky North mine is used in steelmaking and is shipped to buyers in Asia, North Africa Europe and South America.

The union could not immediately be reached for comment.

(Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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