Scabby the Rat descends on Middlemount to seek employment at German Creek mine

Published: 24 Oct 2016

German Creek workers will today be joined by Scabby the Rat, who’s descended on Middlemount to take advantage of Anglo American’s mistreatment of workers and apply for a job at the German Creek mine.

CFMEU Mining and Energy Division Queensland District President Stephen Smyth, said that the fight against Anglo American’s vicious and sustained attacks on workers had lured the opportunist Scabby to town.

“Scabby the Rat symbolises the stark reality that workers who are vocal about their rights are being picked off and replaced with insecure, labour hire positions,” said Mr Smyth.

“Anglo continues to stoop to new lows attempting to pressure workers to give in by using a range of intimidation tactics. They’ve threatened the jobs of 83 workers undertaking legal and protected industrial action. Their attack on these workers are a clear sign of corporate greed and insult every member of this community.

“It’s disgraceful these workers can be made forcibly redundant when we know the company is still employing labour hire workers. It’s no wonder Scabby has come down to take advantage of the situation.

“For almost three years Anglo has drawn out the bargaining process at the German Creek mine.  It is clear the company has no intention of negotiating in good faith. Scabby is here to remind the community of Anglo’s incessant poor handling of the industrial process, and the disregard for its workers’ job security.

“Only last week Anglo’s CEO Mark Cutifani refused to rule out employing armed security guards to intimidate workers undertaking protected industrial action, and their families.

“This mining giant should be ashamed of resorting to such force against its workers to get what it wants.  It’s unacceptable.  This is simply part of an ongoing strategy by Anglo to intimidate the workers.

“Scabby the Rat’s opportunism will remind workers to stand up and not be bullied by scare tactics. The community cannot meekly stand back and accept Anglo’s appalling actions.”

Mr Smyth said the presence of the four-metre inflatable Scabby would help inform the community about the real threats of job insecurity as proposed by Anglo.

“We want people to know our issue and our fight.  We want to draw public attention to Anglo’s shameful actions and inform the community that these workers have a right to fight for their job security.

“Scabby is a clear symbol that Anglo is attacking its workforce and using unfair labour practices. The company has little regard for how their actions are affecting workers and the broader community, and the public has a right to know.

“We will continue this protected industrial action and advocating on behalf of our members until Anglo American retracts their current position and returns to the bargaining table in good faith,” Mr Smyth said.

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