New Union Alliance will fight for bright future for NSW mining communities

NSW Mine Workers' Alliance

The Australian Workers Union (AWU) and Mining and Energy Union (MEU) are joining forces to launch a new Mining Union Alliance representing workers in metalliferous mining in NSW.

The NSW Mine Workers’ Alliance is being launched at regional events in Cobar and Broken Hill this week and will begin officially operating on 1 July 2024.

The Alliance will fight to ensure western NSW mining hubs benefit from critical minerals and transition metals industries, with secure local jobs and thriving communities.

AWU NSW Secretary Tony Callinan said the Alliance brought together two strong unions who would together provide workers with excellent representation and advocacy.

“Our two unions have a long and proven track record in representing mineworkers and their communities,” he said.

“Through this Alliance, members will benefit from our combined strength to deliver better jobs, pay, support and safety.

“Our current members in western NSW will have access to more services and support; and we are ready to build an organised, strong and united mining workforce.”

MEU South Western District Secretary Andy Davey said Broken Hill was the birthplace of Australia’s mining industry, but mineworkers in the region today are unsure about the future.

“Our members in western NSW keep hearing there is a bright future in critical minerals and transition metals, but they are concerned about what their own futures hold.

“We know that products like copper, zinc, and cobalt are essential to building Australia’s economy. But we also know from experience that workers and communities need a strong voice to get their fair share.

“Our Alliance will fight for the investment, good jobs and community services our NSW mining towns need to benefit from mining industries of the future.”

The MEU and AWU have members in mines from Broken Hill to Cobar and Orange to West Wyalong, producing gold, cobalt, copper, lead, zinc, nickel and silver. Existing members will have the opportunity to transfer membership to the NSWMWA while new members will directly join the Alliance.

The NSW Mine Workers Alliance is the second alliance between the two unions, with the Western Mine Workers Alliance launched in the Pilbara in 2013, covering BHP and Rio Tinto mine workers.

Launch events will be held in Cobar on Tuesday 11 June and Broken Hill on Thursday 13 June.

/Public Release.