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Keeping workers, families and communities safe while protecting jobs

April 2, 2020

The Australian Workers Union (AWU), the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union (CFMMEU) Mining & Energy Division and the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) have come together to deliver a plan to keep the mining sector open and operating safely for all members.

At this time of global financial uncertainly, it’s more vital than ever that our mining industry can continue to contribute to the Australian economy. But, it has to do so safely.

The AWU, CFMMEU and the MCA have all firmly agreed that the safety of members and the larger community must be paramount to maintain the fly in, fly out and drive in, drive out models that are crucial to our industry.

The joint collective is working on a range of protocols that will keep members safely employed including:

  • Strict measures to minimise the risk of workers being exposed to COVID-19 in mining workplaces;
  • Strict processes for encouraging self-isolation by workers;
  • comprehensive systems to manage any positive COVID-19 tests for workers at a mine site or who have been at a mine site, which would only involve quarantine at mine sites in exceptional circumstances;
  • Travel and accommodation conditions for FIFO and DIDO workers; and

A focus on education and communication with both workers and local communities to explain the new protocols and focus on safety.
The MCA and the resources unions have also agreed that these measures must be properly monitored to ensure they prove effective at keeping workers and communities safe from the spread of COVID-19. This will involve using the industry-specific expertise that exists in bodies such as the State Mine Safety Advisory Councils, as well as specialist external resources.

The mining industry has long been a hugely important part of The Australian economy, and our members should be proud that their efforts will play a vital role in keeping the economy going, as well as contributing to its recovery once the COVID-19 crisis subsides.

You can read the full statement here

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