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Mine closure a blow for families: CFMEU

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Closing Peabody Energy’s Wilkie Creek mine at Christmas is a blow for workers, families and local communities, the mining union says.

CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland Vice President Shane Brunker has hit out at the coal miner’s decision to shut the mine saying as Christmas approaches the company must put the interest of families first.

“Mineworkers, their families and communities shouldn’t have to pay the price for Peabodyʼs business decisions,” he said.

Brunker said workers were taken by surprise by Peabody’s announcement which was made on Tuesday.

"Peabody must behave in a fair and transparent manner so workers know what’s happening and what their options for the future are,” he said.

"While the company has promised to try and relocate workers who donʼt want to take redundancies, it should give them enough time to consider their futures.

"It should also allow them to take a redundancy later if they find relocating to NSW or the Bowen Basin doesnʼt work for their families.”

The Union said it is very disappointed with Peabody’s decision.

“This is a good, productive mine. Peabody has been trying to sell it for a number of reasons that have nothing to do with productivity or profitability,” Brunker said.

“Today's announcement is a blow to the towns of Dalby and Chinchilla, just as families are preparing for Christmas holidays.”

Peabody said high operating costs and lower coal prices were behind its decision to close the mine.

Approximately 200 contractors and employees have been affected by the decision.

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