BMA strike talks narrow focus

Negotiations between coal miner BMA and mining unions narrowed its spectrum over the weekend, focusing solely on rostering.

It comes after the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union says it has made progress in its talks with the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance after more than a year of continually running strikes.

According to CFMEU district president Steve Smyth the talks will no focus solely on rostering arrangements, which has been one of the major sticking points throughout the negotiations, the ABC reports.

Smyth has previously said "workers were furious at the company after management went back on its word during negotiations on important rostering issues".

Speaking on Friday, Smyth said "we're obviously looking at if there is an alternative roster to be introduced and you don't get agreement of the majority of people, how that would work?".

"What protections would be in place and that type of stuff."

He went on to say that while actual hours of work, shift lengths, start and finish times are set, the real issue is still rostering and the types of rosters miners are working.

They have previously claimed that BMA is failing to listen to workers concerns, as they ask for more of a say in rostering, stating that the miner is attempting to change the work place and make it less family friendly by introducing different shifts and employing more fly in fly out workers.


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