Notice given on BMA strike action
POTENTIAL industrial action protocols have been discussed between police and the CFMEU.
It follows failed neogitioations between three allied unions which make up the Single Bargaining Unit and the controlling company of seven Bowen Basin mines.
The Central Queensland News is led to believe the intent to execute protected industrial action was filed to BMA late yesterday afternoon.
Unions were required to give three working days notice of any potential industrial action, which meant the earliest workers could strike would be Tuesday next week.
CFMEU Queensland president Stephen Smyth yesterday confirmed he had held a meeting with police to discuss lines of communication and expected strategies on behalf of the 4000 members employed at the company’s seven Bowen Basin mines.
Mr Smyth said: “The company (BMA) broke with protocol last week when they threw money on the table during negotiations.
“We (the unions) had told them we had a protocol not to discuss money until the end of negotiations when we’d gotten the terms and conditions right for our members.
“Strike action has always been a last resort but we’ve been left with no choice.”
He said unions typically held mass meetings with members to discuss terms and conditions of new agreements, but BMA had prohibited any such action.
Before last Friday’s total ballot figure was counted, BMA offered workers a 5% yearly pay rise and $5000 sign-on bonus.
Mr Smyth said the “childish and petty” move showed BMA’s desperation.
“They’ve continued to be hardnosed during negotiations, and when they threw up the money offer, it showed just how desperate they are,” he said.
“Their (BMA) claims any changes to the current workplace agreement would hurt productivity is untrue.
“We believe our agreement will actually increase productivity, and it in no way removes the ability to increase productivity.”
BMA’s Crinum mine ceased production last Friday morning amid safety concerns.
A Mines Inspectorate officer stopped operation after a health and safety audit revealed inept safety provisions onsite. Operations were reinstated later that afternoon.