MINE LOCK OUT
Community backs the good fight as mine lock out goes on
CHRISTMAS is just around the corner and local mining communities are showing true community spirit as they join together to support the families affected by the Oaky North mine lockout.
Glencore locked the workers out in response to an initial strike by the employees in May in disagreement over details of a new Enterprise Agreement, which is yet to be finalised.
Workers have been advised that the lockout will continue until January 3, more than 200 days out of work at the Tieri mine.
Community Delegate for the CFMEU Peak Downs Lodge, Jo Scullin, said to ease the burden on these families at this time of year, she is encouraging the community to jump on board with a drive to collect Christmas gifts for kids to be delivered out to the people involved in the lockout.
“Families are rallying together and doing as well as can be expected,” Ms Scullin said. “A lot of people don’t want to ask for help, it’s just not in their nature”.
Most workers at Oaky North are males and Ms Scullin said that this type of situation could really take a toll on them, especially coming up to Christmas.
“One of my passions about living out in a mining community is mental health awareness,” she said.
“A lot of people don’t seem to be able to talk about their concerns, especially males.”
The Christmas present initiative is being held so affected families didn’t need to ask for help and to show the community support was behind them.
Ms Scullin said community spirit was amazing, especially around Christmas.
“Everyone is helping out, and even when sometimes money may be tight for themselves, families are still willing to give to other people,” she said.
“We do have such an amazing community.
“We have even had some people that have moved away to as far as Western Australia to arrange the donation of a gift over the phone with Moranbah Toyworld.”
The community is being encouraged to buy any kind of present that the children could call their own.
Ms Scullin suggests anything from body spray and lip balm to hand balls and frisbees.
“Anyone is welcome to be involved,” she said.
“You can choose a present for any child and drop it into the CFMEU Office on Mills Avenue in Moranbah.
“It can be wrapped and delivered for you or you can wrap it yourself with a label showing the age and sex of the child it will suit, or just label the present with the name of the item.
“For those who want to contribute, Moranbah Toyworld can also take phone orders and payments for as little as $5. Toyworld staff will wrap your present and deliver it to the CFMEU office for collection.”
Presents must be handed in to the CFMEU office by 4pm on Friday, December 15.
“I am going to take them straight to the picket line and invite the kids and families, and hopefully Santa will be coming with me,” Ms Scullin said.
More than 250 children are on the list to receive presents this Christmas and, if the donations go over and beyond this number, presents will be donated to Ronald McDonald House.
“We all want to stick together and fight the good fight for our kids and everyone who lives in the communities,” Ms Scullin said. “We want a future in mining for them because that’s predominantly what we’re all here for.”
SPIRIT OF GIVING: Secretary of CFMEU Peak Downs Lodge, Scott Leggett, with donated presents.