Central Queensland miners vote NO to insecure jobs in BHP mines

Published: 29 Jun 2017

Last night workers at BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s (BMA) Peak Downs, Goonyella Riverside, Blackwater and Saraji mines overwhelmingly rejected the company’s proposed Enterprise Agreement which would promote job insecurity at the sites.

CFMEU Mining and Energy Division QLD District Senior Vice-President, Mitch Hughes said the result is a clear sign to mining companies that continue to make Central Queensland workers redundant to replace their positions with insecure, labour hire workers.

“This result delivers a strong rejection of the company’s unscrupulous agreement that would attack conditions for local miners, with 85 per cent of the workforce voting, and 98 per cent of votes against it,” said Mr Hughes.

“Workers will not stand by as mining giants continue their shift towards casualisation and insecurity in the sector. Local workers deserve good, steady jobs – but companies like BHP are offering fewer entitlements and inferior conditions.

“Regional coal mining communities in Central Queensland continue to be hard hit by retrenchments and uncertainty while mining companies continue to reap the rewards of their labour.

“It’s time BHP and other big mining companies stop their attacks on workers’ job security; if they want a social license to operate in our community, the first step is to provide the community with secure, local jobs.”

BHP, at its BMA Central Queensland mines is attempting to:

  • Make it easier to make permanent workers redundant while keeping contractors and labour hire workers
  • Unilaterally be able to change rosters without major agreement for the purposes of a “trial” for up to six months, and
  • Offer accommodation arrangements outside the proposed agreement at the company’s discretion.

“While companies continue trying to drive down workplace conditions, fill mining jobs with labour hire casual workers and refuse locals work in their regions, mining communities and local economies will continue to suffer.

“Rather than attacking jobs and job security, BHP should be looking after its workforce and providing job security to all workers, including labour hire workers and contractors.

“Now it’s time BHP engage with the CFMEU and our members towards a fair outcome for workers, their families and the local community,” said Mr Hughes.

The turnout for the BMA Enterprise Agreement 2017 vote was 85 per cent of the eligible workforce, with 98 per cent of those voting to reject the company’s proposal.

Media contact: Elisa Fernandes, 0438 021 203