Workers raise concerns with SBU representatives at Wednesday’s stop work meeting in Emerald.
Workers raise concerns with SBU representatives at Wednesday’s stop work meeting in Emerald.

BMA arrogance fuels stop work

THE Single Bargaining Unit has slammed BMA for its reluctance to take seriously the concerns raised at a number of stop work meetings across the Bowen Basin this week.

Members of the CFMEU, AMWU and ETU, which make up the SBU, are “sick and tired of the same rhetoric being spat out of the company’s PR machine”, according to CFMEU district president Stephen Smyth.

Mr Smyth’s statement followed a meeting on Wednesday which saw more than 350 Blackwater and 160 Gregory Crinum mine workers gather in their respective towns to be updated about the progress of current enterprise agreement negotiations, which have been ongoing since December.

“Our members are (annoyed at) the company’s attitude,” he said.

“BMA have really misread the situation and misunderstood their workers, and have, instead, adopted the same arrogant attitude since we began negotiations.”

Goonyella and Norwich Park workers will meet in Moranbah tomorrow at the final meeting under the first round of stop work meetings.

Mr Smyth said it was too soon to determine the SBU’s future course of action.

“After the meeting in Moranbah, the unions will meet with the company in Rockhampton for another round of negotiations,” Mr Smyth said.

“Depending on the outcome, the unions would go from there.

“IT has been business as usual for the unions, and it will continue to be that way until we get the terms and conditions right for our members.”

BMA has previously branded the SBU’s industrial action as “premature”, repeatedly stating negotiations were ongoing and positive.

“BMA is very disappointed that they have rejected this opportunity and chosen instead to proceed to lead our employees into this costly and unnecessarily action,” a spokesperson said last week.

“BMA is continuing to negotiate in good faith with the unions...”

The resource conglomerate was yesterday contacted for comment, but by the time the Central Queensland News went to print, no comment had been received.

It is unknown what financial impact the stop-work meetings will have on BMA, one of the country’s largest coal mine operators.

A company spokesperson said on Tuesday any details of “any significant impacts will be included in the company’s next quarterly production report”.

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