Broadmeadow staff takes community action

THE bitter dispute between unions and the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance in Queensland’s Bowen Basin over enterprise agreements has prompted action by frustrated professional staff.
Broadmeadow staff takes community action Broadmeadow staff takes community action Broadmeadow staff takes community action Broadmeadow staff takes community action Broadmeadow staff takes community action

Broadmeadow longwall mine personnel, Queensland

Lou Caruana

Staff at the Broadmeadow mine will use a community awareness campaign to highlight BMA’s refusal to accord it the same right to agreements as mine workers, director of the Collieries Division of the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers Australia Catherine Bolger said.

“Broadmeadow mine staff believes that BMA is not bargaining in good faith, after more than 12 months of bargaining and still no agreement,” she said.

“After 12 months of trying to reach agreement, we are taking our campaign to the community. This week we are conducting a letterbox drop in Moranbah and we are attending the Moranbah Markets this weekend. We want people to know our concerns that BMA is failing to reach a bargain with Broadmeadow staff.”

In 2010, Fair Work Australia ruled that a majority of Broadmeadow mine staff wanted to bargain for an enterprise agreement. That ruling meant BMA had to bargain with staff, yet there has been no outcome after 12 months, Bolger said.

Meanwhile protected industrial activity continues at BMA’s mines in the Bowen Basin after mine employees voted to reject a proposed enterprise agreement by the company.

A spokesperson for BHP Billiton told ILN a range of additional meetings have been agreed with the unions to speed up negotiations and finalise an agreement as soon as possible for its employees.

“BMA offered a number of additional meetings to unions last week, in response to ongoing feedback provided from our employees that they are frustrated with the speed of negotiations,” the spokesperson said.

“We believe the ongoing industrial action is unnecessary and causes financial harm to the business and our employees, particularly while meetings have been agreed to and productive negotiations continue.”

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