BHP coal mineworkers in Central Queensland and NSW’s Hunter Valley will be locked into substandard pay deals that deny them a pay rise for four years, the Miners’ Union said today.
The Fair Work Commission yesterday approved two agreements proposed by the mining giant to cover BHP’s in-house labour hire workforce known as Operations Services.
CFMEU Mining and Energy’s challenge to the approval of the Operations Services Maintenance Agreement 2018 and Operations Services Production Agreement 2018 was unsuccessful and the Union is considering options for appeal.
CFMEU Mining and Energy General President Tony Maher said approval of the agreements by the Fair Work Commission showed that workplace laws are stacked against working people.
“It’s disgraceful that mining giants like BHP are simply able to sidestep existing union-negotiated agreements and introduce new non-union agreements to cut pay and conditions,” said Mr Maher.
“Shame on the Big Australian for treating its workforce like mugs. They say Operations Services employees ‘are’ BHP and give them a BHP shirt, but people know when they are being treated like second-class citizens.
“We know that Operations Services workers are voting with their feet and turnover is high. This arrogant approach will come back to bite BHP.”
Both Operations Services agreements, which are effective from Boxing Day, were voted on by a handful non-union iron ore workers in Western Australia but are intended to cover a workforce of thousands in the coal industry in NSW and Queensland.
They contain pay and conditions far worse than existing union-negotiated agreements covering directly-employed BHP coal workers, including:
· Pay rates of $30,000 to $50,000 a year less
· No pay rises over their four-year term
· Workers can be transferred to any of the company’s operations nationally, including coal and iron ore, at any location at any time
· No accident pay
· Workers can be forced to work on Christmas Day.
‘Same job same pay’ laws are needed to prevent mining companies using labour hire arrangements to rip off workers, said Mr Maher.