Bowen Basin mine drivers ‘locked out indefinitely’ from site
SIX Bowen Basin mine drivers have been "locked out indefinitely" from their workplace after they took industrial action, a union claims.
After six rounds of bargaining, the workers voted to stop work for 45 minutes on January 30 to seek better pay conditions, including compensation for work-related travel costs.
The Transport Workers Union has claimed their employer, Greyhound Resources, left the workers "stranded and out of pocket in Mackay" where they were forced to find their own way home.
During a meeting in Moranbah on Thursday, the union said it was told by Greyhound the workers would be "locked out indefinitely".
It is understood the drivers are not willing to speak to media out of fear of further repercussions.
Two of the drivers are believed to be from Central Queensland, one from Cairns and three based in Brisbane.
TWU Queensland branch secretary Peter Biagini said the company had taken a heavy-handed approach to stamp out minor industrial action.
"These drivers stopped work for a mere 45 minutes, but have now been locked out for over two weeks with no end in sight," Mr Biagini said.
"Drivers for Greyhound Resources are not asking to be put on to mining wages, they just wanted an increase that can keep up with cost of living pressures that all of us are experiencing across the country.
"Drivers for Greyhound Resources are forced to pay for their travel to these remote sites themselves, with no compensation from the company, shelling out thousands per year."
Queensland Senator Nita Green said Greyhound had treated its workers with contempt.
"(The company) should bargain with these workers in good faith and treat them with the respect they deserve," Ms Green said.
"We urge them to come to a resolution and end the lockout."
A Greyhound Resources spokesman said it was currently bargaining with its employees for an enterprise agreement.
"At all times the company has bargained in good faith and has exercised its rights in accordance with the law," the spokesman said.
"Bargaining is ongoing, but we anticipate shortly reaching an agreement with employees that contains fair terms and conditions that will support the success of the business, increase job security and increase job opportunities.
"Greyhound is dedicated to fulfilling its commitments to its clients in the resources sector and we thank our employees for their ongoing professionalism and commitment during this time."
It is understood most of the locked out drivers service BHP Mitsui Coal (BMC) mines, including Poitrel at Coppabella and South Walker at Strathfield.
The union has called on those companies contracting to Greyhound to "stamp out this sort of bullying" in their supply chain.
BMC was contacted for a response, but declined to comment.