Unions warn more strikes on cards

THE Single Bargaining Unit will not rule out the possibility of 24-hour stoppages after a series of mass meetings with union members this week.

BMA representatives met with the SBU in Brisbane earlier this week and despite some progress made, CFMEU’s district vice-president Glenn Power said members had indicated further industrial action would be taken.

“Surprisingly, on the first day, the company (BMA) seemed to have a change in mindset about a few of the major issues,” Mr Power said.

“I don’t know what it was but on Tuesday, when they came back, they were back to their arrogant approach toward the negotiations.”

The SBU, comprising the AMWU, CFMEU and ETU, have been engaged in enterprise agreement negotiations with the resource conglomerate since December regarding seven of its Bowen Basin mines.

Job security and working conditions are the “sticking points” of the negotiations, and although Mr Power said some progress had been made, he cautioned there was “far more to be done”.

A BMA spokeswoman yesterday said the company continued to meet and negotiate with the unions and believed “good progress is being made”.

“Given the encouraging progress, BMA again stresses that further industrial action at this time is unnecessary as it will not be in the best interest of finalising an agreement,” she said. “Meetings (with the unions) are scheduled until the end of July.”

Gregory Crinum workers downed tools on Wednesday to attend a report-back meeting at McIndoe Park.

Norwich Park and Saraji union members stopped work yesterday for a similar meeting in Dysart.

Peak Downs and Goonyella Riverside workers then met in Moranbah yesterday afternoon.

Blackwater mine workers were expected to hold a mass meeting this morning before Gregory Crinum workers hold a 12-hour shift stoppage on Sunday.

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