BMA strikes to cripple production this week

PRODUCTION at BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance’s seven mines will be severely reduced from tomorrow as members down tools in the lead up to a planned ballot at the end of the month on the stalemated enterprise bargaining negotiations.
BMA strikes to cripple production this week BMA strikes to cripple production this week BMA strikes to cripple production this week BMA strikes to cripple production this week BMA strikes to cripple production this week

Union members, image courtesy of the CFMEU.

Lou Caruana

From tomorrow’s night shift to Saturday's day shift there will be industrial action across all BMA’s seven mines, according to Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union district president Steve Smyth.

BMA claims the employee ballot has been arranged to meet all obligations under the Fair Work Act and will be run by the Australian Electoral Commission.

The ongoing industrial dispute in Queensland’s Bowen Basin and recent wet weather in the region last week forced BMA to declare force majeure for the supply of metallurgical coal from its mines.

A BHP Billiton spokesperson confirmed to ILN that the company had to take the step because of the disruption to supply caused by the dispute and would outline its impact when it releases its next production report on April 18.

In its last interim report, BHP Billiton said a 15% decline in sales volumes at its Queensland Coal business reduced underlying EBIT by $216 million while higher costs, that partly reflected its flood recovery efforts, reduced underlying EBIT by a further $481 million for the six months to December 2011.

BHP Billiton reported that its Queensland coal business produced 8.4 million tonnes for the three months to December 2011.

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