PAY BACK: CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland southwest vice-president Shane Brunker told Newscorp the payout, estimated to have cost Yancoal $250,000 in back pay, had put mining companies on notice.
PAY BACK: CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland southwest vice-president Shane Brunker told Newscorp the payout, estimated to have cost Yancoal $250,000 in back pay, had put mining companies on notice. Contributed

We'll start picking off mining companies one by one: CFMEU

MINE workers have been paid out up to $17,000 each in back pay after being required to participate in unpaid pre-start briefings for several years.

Workers at Cameby Downs coal mine, near Miles, were required to attend pre-start briefings before their paid work day started, with crews being bussed from their accommodation camp each morning to arrive about 5.40am.

CFMEU Mining and Energy challenged the practice, with the Fair Work Commission siding with the union that pre-start meetings were not included within the shifts and salaries allowed for under the site Enterprise Agreement.

For four years workers were required to participate in a 15-20 minute "pre-start" meeting about issues that had arisen in the previous shift and requirements for the day, before starting work at 6am.

CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland southwest vice-president Shane Brunker told Newscorp the payout, estimated to have cost Yancoal $250,000 in back pay, had put mining companies on notice.

"This is a considerable win for workers in the mining industry," Mr Brunker said.

"Unpaid pre-start briefing sessions is a practice that's creeping in right across the industry and it's unfortunately common at a lot of coal sites across Queensland.

"We're hoping mining sites are going to line up their rosters a bit better, or start paying, or we'll start lining the companies up and picking them off one by one."

The union encouraged mineworkers who were required to undertake any work-related activities outside of paid shifts to check the terms of their agreement or talk to their union representative.