Solid Energy’s announcement unlikely to be good news for workers

7 May, 2015

No one is expecting good news from Solid Energy, which has called a meeting at Stockton Mine on the West Coast this afternoon.

“Since the company got into trouble back in 2011, nearly 900 jobs have been lost at Solid Energy’s operations at Stockton, Spring Creek and Huntly East,” says Garth Elliott, EPMU organiser for the Stockton workers.

“Today is likely to be another round of bad news, and another example of the shabby treatment miners have received from Solid Energy and the government.”

Solid Energy hit financial trouble in 2012 after a trail of bad investments, massive over-estimations of its own value, and generally poor management. It was bailed out by the government in 2013 to the tune of $25 million in cash injection another $130m in loans.

Then-CEO Mark Ford declared that the company would “commit” to re-establishing itself as a major employer. However, Solid Energy’s chairman told Parliament last month that more job losses were “inevitable”.

“Solid Energy will blame the coal price, but the fact is that if the company had had good governance, competent leadership, and proper government oversight it would have been in a better position to weather the storm,” says Garth Elliott.

“The government failed to rein in Solid Energy and it has cost hundreds of jobs and devastated communities. It’s simply unjust to once again make miners and their families bear the cost of others’ terrible decision-making.”

EPMU members at Solid Energy’s mines who may be affected by today’s announcement are entitled to redundancy compensation under their collective agreement.

 

ENDS

 

For more information contact:

Garth Elliott, EPMU organiser for the West Coast: 0275 900 084
Stephanie​ Rodgers, EPMU communications officer: 022 269 1170