BMA president speaks out over union claims

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BMA president Stephen Dumble says the mining union is guilty of “scaremongering” employees and the public over its negotiations with its 3,000 Bowen Basin workers.

Workers and the CFMEU have been engaged in a nine-month battle over pay and work conditions at BMA’s Queensland mines.

There have been escalations on industrial action at the mines over the past month, and the union has also launched an ad-campaign against BMA.

The union said the television, radio, and newspaper advertisements were needed to inform the public about what the mining giant was proposing to its workers.

It said it was unacceptable the company was requiring workers to work on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

BMA soon threatened to take legal action against the union over the campaign, and rejected its claims about Christmas work.

BMA has been tight lipped over the negotiations, and said it usually didn’t like to get involved in public debates about wage disputes.

Dumble told the Daily Mercury the union’s claims over the company’s work offers were inaccurate.

“Certainly this [is] scaremongering – that we are going to force people to work longer hours, more shifts, Christmas and Boxing Day,” he said.

BMA also drew the ire of the CFMEU after its move to sidestep the union and offer its package directly to workers to vote on.

But Dumble said the unusual step had been made because the company could not see any way forward with the union.

“We just got to the point where we couldn’t see us compromising further on the things that couldn’t be agreed and they indicated they couldn’t,” he said.

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