Civil Australia Group pay snub worth 'thousands'

TWENTY-ONE workers are going without thousands of dollars for work they claim they have already done at the Callide Mine.

Their boss, Jason Wagner, isn't answering his phone and they say they don't know how they will get their money.

The workers for Civil Australia Group walked off the Callide Mine site on March 22 after, they say, their employer did not pay them for more than three weeks' work.

Selwyn Lampard was one of those workers and claimed he was owed about $9000 in wages and six months' worth of superannuation.

"The (boss) wouldn't answer his phone, emails or texts," he said.

"Then at lunch on Monday (March 21) we got a call from where we were staying, telling us we had to pack up our stuff and leave because our bill wasn't settled.

"That's when we decided to stop working."

He said they had been paid late once before but this time his boss stopped answering his phone. Two weeks later and he still didn't know if he would see any money.

He said he was starting to access his superannuation to keep going.

The site is run by Anglo with some work contracted to Civil Australia Group.

Alistair O'Neill, superviser on the site, said he had been fielding calls from the workers trying to get answers.

"But I can't help them...nobody will talk to us, we have no one to contact," he said.

"I'm sick of it because it makes everyone else suffer. I have child support to pay and house payments.

"I don't know how they can do it."

According to one worker, who didn't want to be named because it feared it would make finding work harder, there were some people in a worse off situation than Mr Lampard.

"A couple of blokes didn't have any money saved and had no way of getting back home," he said.

He said two guys had to get other people to drive them to Yeppoon and Mackay respectively.

The general manager of the company would not answer his phone and his lawyers would not comment due to what they said was down to privacy laws.

Mine operators Anglo American declined to comment but Australian Workers' Union organiser Tony Beers said it should be paying the workers.

"The workers shouldn't be left to carry the tin around because this company hasn't paid them," he said.

"They have done the work on good faith and Anglo American has benefited from that work and continues to.

"Anglo should pay the workers and sort out the issues with Civil Australia Group."

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