BHP has cut jobs and modified employee rosters at the Mt Arthur coal mine in New South Wales, according to the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU).
The union group stated that the workforce of BHP subsidiary, Operations Services (OS) was cut to four crews operating two excavators, decreasing the workforce by 110 employees from 160.
OS employee rosters were reportedly changed from 7/7 to 5/4 fly-in fly-out (FIFO) shifts.
However, BHP has responded that the claims made by the CFMEU are incorrect and unfounded, stating that no decision has been made in regard to roster changes and that flights were “never provided for Mt Arthur coal”.
“Operation Services is examining ways to assist site with their costs but no decisions have been made,” a BHP spokesperson told Australian Mining.
CFMEU Mining and Energy Northern District vice president Jeff Drayton said a roster change would mean OS workers travelling to Mt Arthur from Sydney, Queensland and South Australia would struggle to fund their own travel and accommodation expenses.
“Few of the current Operational Services workforce live within the journey zone for daily commuting,” Drayton said.
“It will now be impossible for them if they now have to travel twice a week, not once a week and fund their own flights and accommodation.
“That means they have to uproot their family or self-fund their commute from New South Wales to Queensland If they want to keep a job.”
BHP has been attempting to divest the Mt Arthur mine, which is the largest coal mine in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley and worth around $1 billion.