‘Better deal’ for CQ miners in BHP workplace fight: Union
A UNION says more than 1000 Central Queensland miners are a step closer to winning better pay and conditions after a Fair Work Commission ruling.
The commission reaffirmed that two enterprise agreements covering mineworkers employed by BHP’s Operations Services labour hire subsidiary could not be approved.
More than 2300 staff over the past year have performed the tasks previously done by external contractors under OS.
The labour hire subsidiary gives people who were previously employed on short term contracts the opportunity to apply for permanent roles with BHP.
But the CFMEU has argued OS staff are employed under two enterprise agreements with substantially worse pay and conditions than permanent BHP mineworkers on site agreements.
The union said the agreements were voted on by a small number of iron ore workers in Western Australia before being applied to a growing OS workforce, deployed mostly across BHP’s Central Queensland coal mines.
CFMEU mining and energy Queensland president Stephen Smyth said these miners deserved working conditions like accident pay and annual pay rises.
“The commission’s ruling is clear, these agreements are now in the bin where they belong,” Mr Smyth said.
“The CFMEU is in the corner of Operations Services workers and we will be standing with them to fight for a better deal.”
A BHP spokesman said the company now had seven days to decide whether it would make further oral submissions to the Fair Work Commission on the enterprise agreements.
“We have received more than 80,000 applications for Operations Services roles we began in April 2018 – this is a clear endorsement of how attractive the offering is to people right across Australia,” the spokesman said.
“Operations Services offers market competitive rates, which are well above the relevant awards and compare favourably to others in the industry.
“Operators and maintainers earn more than $100,000, and have the added benefits of stability, paid parental leave, annual leave and sick leave, performance bonuses and access to the company share program.”
The spokesman assured current staff their employment would not be affected by the Fair Work Commission process.