CFMEU - Mining and Energy Division
Central Queensland coalmine workers accept latest BHP offer
Safety positions, local housing, family-friendly rosters protected
Coalmine workers in Central Queensland have voted to accept the latest proposed enterprise agreement from BHP Billiton, which includes important protections on safety, housing and rostering and boosts superannuation contributions.
A majority of workers across BHP’s five Bowen Basin mines has supported the company’s latest offer after a 24-month campaign from workers to protect crucial conditions, the CFMEU said.
In a ballot conducted last week and counted today, the offer received a 60 per cent 'yes' vote.
District President Stephen Smyth thanked union members for their solidarity during the dispute in the face of a hardline approach from BHP.
“This deal maintains important protections and moderates the most extreme elements of BHP’s agenda,” said Mr Smyth.
“It could have been reached a year ago, had BHP not taken an ideological approach that prioritised picking a fight with its workforce over coming to a reasonable deal.”
Key elements of the three-year deal include:
- Safety inspectors to be covered by the agreement
- Flexibility in rostering, accepting that some workers prefer to commute but providing protections for those who reside locally and prefer family-friendly rosters
- Local housing agreement to support families choosing to live in local towns
- Superannuation contributions up from 9 to 12 percent over the life of the agreement
Mr Smyth said the union would focus on further improving housing and rostering conditions during the next round of negotiations.
SBU members were also disappointed BHP has failed to abandon its WorkChoices-era approach to labour hire and contract workers, who receive inferior pay and conditions to permanent workers.
“It’s really disappointing to see BHP continue to cling to WorkChoices-era provisions for its contract labour force, given the company’s reliance on contractors across its operations.”
Mr Smyth thanked the communities of Central Queensland for their strong support during the lengthy industrial dispute.
The agreement covers about 3,000 workers at operations including the Goonyella-Riverside, Peak Downs, Crinum, Blackwater and Saraji mines in Central Queensland.
CFMEU Mining and Energy Division District President Stephen Smyth and General Secretary Andrew Vickers available for interview.
Contact: Martin Watters 0400 179 620
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