Anxious wait for miners

PICKET LINE: CFMEU mascot Scabby the Rat takes to the picket line at Camm Park, Middlemount.
PICKET LINE: CFMEU mascot Scabby the Rat takes to the picket line at Camm Park, Middlemount. Jessica Dorey

GERMAN Creek coal mine workers are awaiting the announcement of redundancies, which they say could be made on Friday.

The workers have been on strike for 98 days and with Christmas dawning anxiety among the crowd of 140 strikers is mounting.

Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union of Queensland district president Stephen Smyth said there were mixed emotions among the strikers.

"Some people are angry, and others just want to know whether they will have a job or not," he said.

"Many of them just feel let down by the actions of AngloAmerican. But from a union perspective, the focus is as strong as ever."

While most families are preparing for Christmas, the strikers are waiting to hear whether they will have to move out of the town to find more work.

"Everyone is very sad and upset," Mr Smyth said.

"Having to move is always terrible, but doing this at this time of year is just poor behaviour. The community and union will come together to look after the families that loose their jobs but it doesn't replace their jobs."

Mr Smyth said in his experience, the actions by AngloAmerican were unprecedented in the industry.

"In my 30 years in the industry I haven't seen or heard of anything like it," he said.

The strikers also claim AngloAmerican recently hired 14 labour hire staff.

"It is frustrating for the strikers," Mr Smyth said. "The union takes the view opposing AngloAmerican. We don't except the explanation that it is an unplanned event."

Earlier this month AngloAmerican released a statement saying the allegations of labour hire was "completely false". The company was approached to comment on all other claims but did not respond.

Topics:  cfmeu german creek mine middlemount strike

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