The three Illawarra, New South Wales BHP coal mines will go on strike on Tuesday, January 30.
BHP workers are upset over lack of progress in their long-running claim for a pay increase and the recent Australian Industrial Relations Commission's decision to terminate expired agreements at these three mines.
Under the new arrangement, BHP will be able to recruit and downsize on the basis of merit rather than seniority and to use contractors when and where it deems appropriate.
BHP sees this as the way forward for achieving the improved productivity of Bowen Basin mines in Queensland.
These newer mines have largely been able to free themselves of the restrictive workplace practices that continue to hamper BHP’s productivity in some of its older mines.