NSW Labor has welcomed a mining industry agreement involving employers and unions placing the health and safety of all workers as a key priority while making sure the industry keeps working for the benefit of all Australians during the COVID-19 virus pandemic.
The mining industry has implemented strict COVID-19 health and safety protocols across all mining sites in Australia.
The Australian Workers Union (AWU), the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union (CFMMEU) Mining & Energy Division and the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) have agreed on the following COVID-19 protocols:
- 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
- education and communication with workers and local communities.
The mining industry has also agreed to work together to minimise any long-term job losses as a consequence of COVID-19 and that employers are meeting the medical costs of testing for workers.
NSW Labor Shadow Minister for Natural Resources, Paul Scully, said, “The continued operation of the mining industry during this COVID-19 virus pandemic is crucial to supply chains across the country and for around 60 per cent of Australia’s export income.
“We need to keep the industry going for as long as it is safe to do so, which is why the industry protocols agreed to by the unions and employers are so important.
“NSW Labor welcomes the cooperation between employers and unions and the strict application of health and safety requirements in the mining industry workforce.”