Collinsville mineworkers stripped of housing

Glencore Xstrata has stripped Collinsville mineworkers of housing, cutting access to company housing on the grounds of “changed company policy”.

Xtrata's Collinsville mine Image credit: flickr User: ibsut
Xtrata’s Collinsville mine
Image credit: flickr User: ibsut

According to the news release by CFMEU, Glencore has told applicants for jobs in the mine, which is set to reopen in January, that their company housing policy has changed and that no workers will have access to company housing in Collinsville.

The mine stopped operating in August, and now workers are being evicted from their homes.

According to CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland President Stephen Smyth, Glencore refuses to provide family housing and has cut rental subsidies for workers. Mr Smyth claims that the company is clearly undermining the working community of Collinsville and must not be allowed to get away with such behaviour.

“Glencore’s hostile approach to local family housing will result in more people commuting to work in Collinsville or living in single men’s accommodation. Workers new to the mine won’t be encouraged to settle in Collinsville and become part of the community, while former workers who live locally are being knocked back from jobs.”

“Local families in local family housing are the heart of any thriving mining community. Glencore’s attack on family housing for local mineworkers is part of its assault on the fabric of the Collinsville community. Glencore is happy to take Collinsville’s coal, but it seems the company won’t be happy until it has destroyed the town,” said Mr Smyth.

The CFMEU is encouraging people to land a hand and make a difference to the people of Collinsville by making a donation to their Santa fundraiser.

According to Donna Bulloch and Laurie Ann Williams, of Mining Communities United, the town is really struggling after the mining giant sacked all the workers.

“Many of the men from the town are now away weeks at a time in order to work. Businesses are barely staying afloat. The 400 kids who are left in the town have no idea what tomorrow will bring. Their dads aren’t home anymore, their mums have had their work hours cut, and they’ve been told they might have to start going to school 2 hours away. And now most people don’t even have enough money to get their kids Christmas presents.”

To make a donation visit the Help Santa come to Collinsville Pozible project.

To learn more about the campaign from the Mining Communities United visit their Facebook page.

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