German Creek mine workers hold a stop work meeting at Middlemount.
German Creek mine workers hold a stop work meeting at Middlemount. Contributed

Union claim: Miner accused of hiring 'strike-busters'

ANGLO American has denied that it is employing 'strikebreakers' at its German Creek mine.

CFMEU has accused mining giant Anglo American of employing 'strike-breakers' in an escalation of the industrial action at German Creek mine site involving about 140 miners.

As the strike enters its second week, CFMEU mining and energy division Queensland district president Stephen Smyth said the mining giant had asked a labour hire company to replace the striking workforce.

"It's not right that workers can take legal and protected action to fight for better pay and improved conditions, then get replaced by industrial mercenaries," Mr Smyth said.

"Anglo is offering a better deal to these new industrial mercenaries than they are willing to offer to their own employees. That just isn't fair."

But the mining company is denying the accusation.

A spokesperson for the mine said "we are not hiring strikebreakers".

"However the mine has been operating since the strike action commenced using its existing employees who are not participating in the strike - all of which is simply the Company exercising the rights available to it under the law," the spokesperson said.

"We expect the mine management to continue to do so.

"The idea that the company is hiring strike breakers is totally rejected and is another 'smokescreen' created by the Union. 

"First it was a strike about wages and conditions, then it was a strike about safety and now its strike about 'strike-breakers' - the Union have initiated this strike and they will have to be accountable to their members on the benefits and harm it is creating."

The spokesperson said the striking miners are welcome back to the mine.

According to the union, new workers are being offered $60 an hour, plus an extra $2 an hour back paid if they stay on for three months, along with free accommodation and meals.

"If Anglo have the money to pay inflated wages to strike-breakers, then they should come back to the table and negotiate in good faith to support their existing employees instead of sneaking around behind closed doors and using a labour hire company to employ a shadow workforce," Mr Smyth sid.

About 140 German Creek miners are on strike because of a dispute over the enterprise bargaining agreement.