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Miners accept offer

Thursday, 3rd July, 2008

Mine workers at Perilya are set to receive a 15 per cent wage rise over three years after union members voted to accept the company's agreement offer.

CFMEU south western vice president Greg Braes said yesterday that 360 members voted to accept the offer at mass meetings held yesterday and Sunday.

"As far as union is concerned, it was voted in favour of," he said.

A spokesman for Perilya said that non unionists employed at the southern and north operations were expected to vote on the offer last night.

However, with unionists making up the majority of workforce covered by the award, the new agreement appears set to get the go ahead.

Mr Braes said the agreement, which still has to undergo the government's Fairness Test, included yearly wage increases of five per cent over three years and the scrapping of the bonus system.

He said Perilya had been notified of the members' decision.

Yesterday's vote brings to an end several months of negotiations between the union's negotiating committee and the company.

Mr Braes said while not everyone was happy with the offer, union members had taken a pragmatic approach to talks with Perilya, which has suffered as a result of falling metal prices.

"They want to make sure the company keeps going."

With agreement talks now seemingly out of the way, Mr Braes said that he hoped the company could "move forward" with its plans.

While he has been part of previous negotiating committees, the agreement was Mr Braes' first as the new south western vice president.

"Generally negotiations were long and drawn-out. But in the end we got to where we wanted to be," he said.

"All in all I'm pretty impressed with the way our (negotiating) committee did their job."

A spokesman for the Perilya said the company would likely comment after the rest of the workforce voted on the offer.

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