29 Sep 2012

Miners say Christchurch offer waste of time

3:27 pm on 29 September 2012

A Spring Creek miner facing redundancy says a meeting over possible construction jobs in Christchurch was seen by many as a waste of time.

State-owned company Solid Energy plans to mothball the West Coast mine, leaving more than 200 staff and 130 contractors out of work.

The Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team met workers on the West Coast on Friday.

General manager Duncan Gibb says about 200 people turned out and questions were asked about the types of positions available, training and wages in the earthquake-hit city.

"There was some discontent discussed, but the reality is that a job with sureness in relation to tenure through to 2016 is better than no job at all."

Mr Gibb described the discussions as positive, but Trevor Bolderson, a union delegate who works at the mine, disagrees.

He says most of the miners would not want to permanently relocate, and would therefore have to consider extra costs related to travel and accommodation.

Mr Bolderson says the information they were given suggested that anyone making the switch to the construction industry could expect an entry wage of $42,000.

"I certainly won't be taking that option up and it's my considered view that most of the people I spoke to after the presentation were of a similar view.

"That's not to say that in a couple of months' time when the reality starts sinking in they wouldn't revisit that."

Mr Gibb says they are considering holding another meeting on the West Coast in a couple of weeks.