CFMEU Mining & Energy fights for our members in coal and metals mining and power generation around Australia. Our members work hard, play a crucial role in Australia’s economy, support their communities and have a proud tradition of standing up for safety and workers’ rights.

Hosted by Tim Brunero, this podcast features news, interviews and inside stories keeping you up to the minute with our activities, challenges and successes.


May 2020

Corona virus has changed how we all work - from staggered shift starts to cleaning down equipment to ditching carpooling - but some proposed solutions, like 21 days on, 7 days off rosters have been shown the door. CFMEU National President Tony Maher discusses FIFO’s ‘Black Swan’ event, Queensland District President Stephen Smyth calls out ‘hot seat changing’ & ‘hot bedding’, FIFO Pilbara locomotive driver Paul Bloxsom opens up about the pain of leaving his family for 3 months. Industry Health & Safety Inspector Stephen Luck talks about the reality of doing night shift and coming home to a house full of self isolating family. CFMEU National Research Director Peter Colley analyses the falling coal price and stable employment numbers & Hunter Valley shotfirer Kerry Konieczny explains how she got decent breastfeeding facilities for working mums at her pit.

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June 2020

Our June episode begins with the recent landmark Federal Court judgment that the ‘permanent casual’ work model is unlawful, with Labor’s Tony Burke, casual miner Chad Stokes and National Legal Director Alex Bukarica discussing implications and next steps. At 13.19 Queensland President Steve Smyth gives us the latest on the gas explosion at the Grosvenor Mine. At 19.24 Former Miners Federation General Secretary Barry Swan tells the remarkable story of the 1982 Kemira ‘stay-in’ strike. At 26.40 We get an update on our legal win against BHP’s dodgy Operations Services Enterprise Agreements, with National Legal Officer Eliza Sarlos.

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July 2020

Our July episode begins with South32’s grubby use of the Coronavirus crisis to dial down safety and cut wages at Appin Mine. South Western District Vice President Bob Timbs explains the company’s tactics, and we hear from a couple of Appin miners dudded by the move. At 7.15 Former General Secretary Andrew Vickers reflects on lives lost and lessons learnt from major mining disasters we commemorate in July. At 15.12 CFMMEU National Secretary Michael O’Connor reveals how members from all the Union’s divisions have kept the country running - and where they now need backup from government. At 22.50 Matt Hofman from the Appin Lodge in the Southern district ends our July episode with his poem ‘We Are Coal’.

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August 2020

Our August episode begins with BHP’s Operations Services Scam - Bowen Basin Organiser Jason Lipscombe describes how ‘The Big Australian’ puts local workers on second rate agreements using their in house labour hire firm Operations Services. At 6:26 Chris Griffith explains how he owes his, and his wife’s, life to The Westpac Helicopter Rescue Service while the organisation’s CEO Richard Jones thanks Northern District coal miners for 35 years of pouring "millions and millions" into the choppers to keep them in the air. At 20:58 Ahead of the state election on October 31 New Acland miner Michael Hartin tells Queensland politicians to get his vote they'll need to rescue Stage 3 of the mine’s expansion from the courts and at the same time save 150 jobs.

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