BHP strikes to conclude today

Union representatives for the striking BHP Billiton workers say the industrial action will conclude the final stop work meetings at Goonyella Riverside and Peak Downs mine today.

Members will stop work from about lunchtime until midnight, according to the Mackay Daily Mercury.

The stop work meetings have been attended by about 3000 BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), according to the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU).

Six Bowen Basin mines were involved, including the Dysart, Emerald, Blackwater and Moranbah operations.

Workers were calling for better wage increases in line with the company’s soaring profits and more involvement in rostering requirements in the first strikes at the company for a decade.

CFMEU spokesman Steve Smyth job security and representational issues were amongst the topics discussed at the stop work meetings.

“We expect well over 1000 union members to commence stoppages at both mines tomorrow (today),” Mr Smyth said.

“The biggest issues we are fighting for are the terms and conditions in relation to job security, training and recruitment, protecting people on the job and other aspects which will govern their employment.”

He said the series of strikes gave members a chance to express concerns they had about the industry.

“It’s a good forum for members to raise concerns and discuss any issues,” he said.

“We’re pretty sure we’re on the right track and we have had overwhelming support.”

Smyth said workers were hopeful for positive results from the industrial action.

“We’ll get the chance to talk to BHP representatives next Monday and Tuesday.”

BMA has expressed its disappointment with the stop work decision since the strikes began.

“BMA is strongly of the view that taking industrial action is premature given discussions are still progressing,” a spokesperson said.

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