Vote scheduled to end BMA strikes

BHP Billiton’s Queensland coal miners will vote next month on a pay deal as talks between the miner and the union come to a close.
Vote scheduled to end BMA strikes Vote scheduled to end BMA strikes Vote scheduled to end BMA strikes Vote scheduled to end BMA strikes Vote scheduled to end BMA strikes

BMA's Broadmeadow mine in Queensland

Justin Niessner

The news comes as pressure mounts on the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance and unions to end a two-year labour dispute.

“It is expected that the process of communicating the outcomes to employees and the conducting of a ballot will be completed by the end of October,” A BHP spokesperson told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“This follows the conclusion of negotiations and mediation by the parties.”

Thousands of miners demobilised at seven of BMA’s Queensland operations have dented the company’s coking coal exports and spooked foreign investors, notably Japanese steelmaker JFE.

According to The Australian, Resources Minister Martin Ferguson has called for unions to accept a pay deal with the state’s mining giants, warning that both the workers and the companies could “kill the golden goose” as Australia’s export commodity prices continued to fall.

“One way or another, it’s got to be settled,” he was quoted as saying.

Ferguson tallied the workers’ potential pay increase at 15% over three years with an inflation of less than 2%.

“I must say I always took the view as a former union official (that) you pocket what you can,” he was reported as saying.

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