Coal prices blamed for Qld job cuts

A union fears more mining jobs will go under the guise of lower coal prices.

Xstrata Coal has blamed a downturn in coal prices for the decision to axe 95 coal mining jobs at Collinsville in north Queensland by the end of January, the ABC reports.

The company has said it will try to find other jobs for affected workers.

But the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) says Xstrata and other mining companies are overstating the effect of lower prices to justify job cuts.

"They're saying that the market is shot, the industry is dead," union spokesman Steve Pierce told the ABC.

"Well, they are still making in excess of $100 a tonne for coal that three or four years ago were getting $40 and $50 a tonne for, so they are still making damn good profits."

He said the union wanted to dispel the "myth" that the coal industry was going broke.

"Unfortunately coal companies do this every time there is a slight hiccup in the market," he said.

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