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Glencore extends lockout for striking miners at Oaky North coal operation

For a second week running, Glencore Plc locked out about 190 miners at its Queensland, Australia-based Oaky North coal operation who had been supporting the industrial action at the site since May, The Australian Financial Review reported July 31.

The mine is being operated by contractors as the company and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union try to resolve the workplace dispute.

However, given that Australian law puts no limit on how long an employer can lock out employees and the fact that the mine has been more productively run by contractors, it is unlikely the company will allow locked out workers back anytime soon.

The company and the union have held more than 20 meetings since the Oaky North agreement expired in 2015, but the parties have yet to reach an agreement. The union had offered to extend the same financial terms of the previous agreement for two years, an offer that was rejected by Glencore.

Backed by the union, miners started protected strikes in May, prompting mine management to initiate a lockout during a weekend a month later.

As reported earlier, strikes at Glencore coal operations in New South Wales, Australia, could spread to its sixth mine in the Hunter Valley as workers at the company's Bulga underground mine were seeking court approval to join 1,400 colleagues on strike.