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Mining and Energy Union organisers

With a combined more than 50 years’ experience in the mining industry, Jodie Cam and Kerry Konieczny have taken up positions as Mining and Energy Union (MEU) organisers in the northern region and plan to use their experience to help as many mining employees as they can.

Jodie has been in the mining industry for almost 30 years working in Western Australia and the Northern Territory before moving to NSW.

“I started working in coal mines about 20 years ago. I worked in administration and dispatch, but most of the time I’ve been operating various machinery in the production side of things, and I’ve also spent about nine years on the mine rescue emergency response team as well.

“With the support of the MEU I have been a union crew delegate, the lodge vice president and the lodge secretary during my time in the Hunter Valley and in those roles, I have learnt a lot about workers rights and the importance of being a member of your union.

“My experience has just developed over time through meetings and conversations that are a bit harder to have and they aren’t so intimidating anymore.”

Kerry made her start in the mining industry in 2002 at the then Camberwell Coal.

“I gained skills at that worksite on dump trucks, water carts, the service truck drills and the grader and later I became a ticketed shot firer and I have held that position for the last 13 years.

“I have been permanent, I have also had the experience of being a contractor, I was retrenched at one point but luckily with my skillset I was able to pick up employment again.

“I have been a trainer and assessor in my role, and I have also had the support of the union on sites as a site delegate and lodge secretary and I also sat on our district board of management.”

Both Jodie and Kerry believe their experience in the industry will be beneficial to the MEU members as they have experience in the field.

“If someone comes to you with an issue you actually have a bit of an idea about what to do and what’s involved,” said Jodie.

Kerry said their job won’t just involve communicating with the MEU members, it’ll be about encouraging people to get involved with the union and understand why it’s important to be involved.

“It’s also about finding leaders on site and developing those people. Bringing education to the workplace and passing that knowledge onto other people and setting up productive networks and making sure we are transparent and supportive of our workplace issues. 

“It’s a pretty exciting time for us to come on board because the Same Job Same Pay campaign is starting to ramp up. We can start to get some applications made for that to come into the workplaces and it’s going to be a pretty exciting time to be able to get those contractors up to where they should’ve been all along.”

If you’d like to get in touch with your local union delegates or join head to: https://meu.org.au/

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