Oct 30, 2017

Axed workers take their case to Chinese embassy

Axed workers take their case to Chinese embassy

Former Cook Colliery workers have taken their battle for entitlements to the Chinese embassy in Canberra in a protest joined by CFMEU officials.

More than 200 workers lost their jobs after Guangdong Rising Assets Management-controlled Caledon Coal was placed into administration in May after an underground longwall panel at Cook Colliery was flooded with water two months earlier.

The CFMEU says many of the workers from the Blackwater site have not been paid their full entitlements, with up to 60 employees owed amounts ranging from $1000 to $50,000.

It says a buyer has been found for the Cook Colliery but GRAM and the secured creditors, the Bank of China, and the China Development Bank, are at a stalemate which has impacted approval of the sale and is holding up payment of monies owed to the former employees.

GRAM is part owned by the Chinese Government.

CFMEU national secretary Michael O’Connor called on the Chinese Ambassador to intervene and seek urgent action from the Chinese Government.

“It’s now been seven months since these workers were stood down without pay, facing an uncertain future,” he said.

“The workers and their families still haven’t been paid their full entitlements and have been subjected to extreme financial distress.

“Yet Cook Colliery senior management staff have been paid their entitlements in full.

“We need the Chinese Government to break the deadlock on the sale of Cook Colliery, so these workers can finally get their just entitlements.”

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