SBU protest line makes its stand

UNION members at BMA’s Norwich Park will today stage a protest line in Dysart as the Single Bargaining Unit finishes its second round of work stoppages across the Bowen Basin.

The picketing workers will follow that of Goonyella Riverside workers last week.

Several 12-hour stoppages at seven of BMA’s coal mines and total overtime bans enforced from last Thursday to Sunday have given the SBU, comprising the AMWU, CFMEU and ETU, hope further negotiations scheduled in Brisbane on Monday would be successful.

But a BMA spokeswoman yesterday said the company was confused about the SBU’s declaration and insistence of taking industrial action.

“They (the SBU) remain unable to explain to the company the reason for the current action,” she said.

But CFMEU district vice president Glenn Power said if the company didn’t understand the reason the SBU continued to take protected action, it they should “seriously take a look at the people they’ve got at the negotiating table”.

Mr Power said the SBU, which collectively represents more than 3500 BMA workers across the Bowen Basin, was negotiating to maintain the “minimum existing work conditions which reaches 103% of target across the seven mine sites” that was established in 2007. Job security, he said, was another issue as the engagement of contract workers continued to rise, as well as accommodation issues for permanent workers at the mine sites.

“They (the SBU) remain unable to explain to the company the reason for the current action.” BMA spokesperson


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