CFMEU - Mining and Energy Division
BHP digs in its heels on rostering
BHP is insisting on the right to extend shift lengths to 14 hours and beyond in its Bowen Basin coal mines, putting progress in enterprise negotiations at risk, the CFMEU Miners Union said today.
Shift lengths were a critical safety issue and sticking point in BHP’s latest offer to its workforce, rejected by 83% of employees, said CFMEU Queensland District President Stephen Smyth.
“The Union has indicated we are willing to talk about rostering, to float new ideas in the hope of moving talks forward.
“However we are not willing to allow the company to push shift lengths into dangerous territory and jeopardise safety in mines."
In talks today, BHP management said it wanted the right to extend shift lengths beyond the current maximum of 12.5 hours, without seeking the agreement of the workforce.
“The workforce rejected this proposition when it overwhelming voted no to BHP’s latest enterprise agreement offer,” said Mr Smyth.
“We will not negotiate on safety and we don’t believe that paving the way for 15 or 16 hour working days in coal mines is in the interests of safety.
“It’s very frustrating to sit through talks and listen to the company continue to put forward ideas the workforce has emphatically rejected. BHP is not negotiating in good faith.”
Negotiations for a new agreement covering mines operated by the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance in the Bowen Basin have been going for 18 months, with rolling industrial action in place for 12 months.
The Single Bargaining Unit comprising the CFMEU, ETU and AMWU met with company representatives today and will continue talks next week.
“We are very keen to wrap this up, but that won’t happen until the company indicates a willingness to listen to its workforce on key issues like rostering and put forward some acceptable proposals.”
For more information call Stephen Smyth 0417 897 845 / Jackie Woods 0414 241 483
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