BMA strike continues

BHP Billiton coal workers will continue to strike for better pay and rostering systems, according to the mining union.

It’s the first time in a decade BHP workers have striked and the Construction, Forestry Mining and Engineering Union (CFMEU) said it has told members to strike at sites around central Queensland this week.

The next will be held at Moranbah tomorrow and CFMEU Queensland district president Stephen Smyth told the ABC they will decide next week if they will continue the industrial action.

"The members have endorsed protected industrial action as a part of their claim for conditions and entitlements under this current agreement we are negotiating," he said.

"There’s various issues with have with the current negotiations in relation to job security, recruitment, training and just generally the terms and conditions in the agreement."

BMA issued a statement expressing its unhappiness with the workers’ decision.

"BMA made an offer in response to concerns that it had about the impact of unions’ premature industrial action which they have indicated will occur this week," the statement says.

"BMA is very disappointed that they have rejected this opportunity and chosen instead to proceed to lead our employees into this costly and unnecessarily action.

"BMA is continuing to negotiate in good faith with the unions, however the rejection of this offer is contrary to both the best interests of our employees and the union’s claims "that protected action is only accessed by members as an absolute last resort."

The workers are calling for larger increases in wages, in line with the huge profits being made by the company, and more involvement in rostering arrangements.

 

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