Glencore is prioritising its profits ahead of local communities, according to KAP leader Robbie Katter.
Mr Katter said he was "dismayed" by Glencore's decision to move to a week-on, week-off roster at Mount Isa Mines copper operations following a similar roster introduced at their zinc operations in 2015 and feared it would lead to more people working from the coast.
"Mine employees will now be tempted by the FIFO and DIDO options that are more easily afforded to them by their new work structure," Mr Katter said.
"This increase in FIFO, already a blight on our region, will impact every corner of our community from the local businesses to school enrolment numbers to funding for local services including our hospital and so on."
Glencore said they were still considering the idea for their copper operation with a formal decision to be made in early November.
"We recognise any change to rosters may cause some disruption for workers and their families, and concern in the community," a spokesperson said.
"We want to reassure people that we remain committed to operating a safe, responsible and efficient business that continues to support the community."
Mr Katter said FIFO was declared a "cancer of the bush" during the Federal Parliamentary Inquiry into it chaired by Tony Windsor a decade ago and since then it has only increased and has been perpetually destructive on Mount Isa and Cloncurry.
"My belief is that Government representatives of the areas impacted by FIFO have a responsibility to least try to stop its increase," he said.
:"The biggest benefit to any town in a mining area for any new development is having the mine wages spent in the local town - this amounts to a real economic benefit."
Mr Katter said only a tiny fraction of the royalties generated by local mines make it back to the area
"So what is the point of having or promoting any mining development in the region if the jobs all go to Townsville or Brisbane?," he said.
"This latest move by Glencore has to be called out for putting their commercial interests ahead of that of the town."
Mr Katter said he understood difficulties mines had with critical labour shortages following the pandemic but this decision had a long-term social cost.
"There might be some locals that prefer this roster but the fact remains that this presents too much opportunity for mine workers to base themselves outside this region and take our jobs while living in the city," he said.
"On this basis I will always fight against these moves."
A Glencore spokesperson said they were seeking to align the primary workforce rosters at Mount Isa Copper Operations (MICO) and George Fisher Mine.
"The 7 days on/7 days off roster which has been in place at George Fisher Mine for several years, has improved productivity and supports greater work/life balance and we believe MICO would also benefit from the introduction of the same schedule where the workers are currently on a 4 days on/4 days off roster," a spokesperson said.
"The alignment of rosters would also allow workers to transfer between the two sites more easily, providing greater operational flexibility and opportunities for the long term economic sustainability of our business."
Glencore changed their rosters in 2019 so that all staff employees at Mount Isa and Cloncurry operations working a standard five-day week moved to either a 5/2/4/3 roster, or a 5/2 roster with an additional eight 'flexi-days' leave annually.