Unions, BMA talking again after legal action

TALKS are expected to resume today between the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance and unions in central Queensland over protracted enterprise agreement negotiations which have hit a road block over rosters and the use of contractors.
Unions, BMA talking again after legal action Unions, BMA talking again after legal action Unions, BMA talking again after legal action Unions, BMA talking again after legal action Unions, BMA talking again after legal action

BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance

Lou Caruana

Meanwhile BMA is showing that it is taking a tough stance against the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union and its officials by taking them to court over alleged illegal industrial action in 2010.

“BMA confirms that it is taking legal action in the Federal Court of Australia against certain individuals and the CFMEU to recover loss and damage suffered by it as a result of a number of mine shutdowns that occurred at BMA sites in February 2010,” a company spokesperson told ILN.

The unions are opposed to 14 hour shifts and revised “fatigue management plans” which are being proposed by the company as one way of improving productivity at its Bowen Basin mines.

Full shift stoppages hit several BMA-operated open cut coal mines in Queensland, with protected industrial action at the Norwich Park mine running for more than two weeks before Christmas last year – dashing hopes of a resolution to the dispute before the end of the year.

Negotiations over the new BMA central EA covering seven mines started around November/December last year. The encompassing EA expired on May 16.

BMA employees recently voted 92% in favour of rejecting the 11th proposed enterprise agreement.

Unlike other previous disputes over EAs in the mining industry, the CFMEU has teamed up with the Electrical Trades Union and Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union to form a single bargaining unit with BMA over the central agreement.

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