CFMEU hails Fairwork decision against BHP

A FairWork Australia decision against BHP Billiton and its Endeavour coal mine has been hailed by the CFMEU.

The ruling yesterday stated that the miner had negotiated in good faith with workers at the Illawarra coalfields mine, according to The Australian.

Fairwork ruled that while management of the mine had attended negotiations, the company failed to show a "genuine endeavour to negotiate an agreement with APESMA".

The decision came after workers at the mine attempted to negotiate new enterprise agreements.

The CFMEU stated that this ruling that BHP Billiton failed to bargain in good faith with the mine’s staff "should send a message to the company that it needs to deal fairly with its workers".

CFMEU district president Stephen Smyth added "this ruling on good faith bargaining underlines that right across the business, BHP has had a strategy of attempting to sideline the rights of employees to collective representation.

"This strategy is not just a breach of the law, it is out of line with community expectations about rights at work.

"This decision should be a wake-up call to BHP. Whether at Endeavour Coal or in the Bowen Basin, the company can’t just ignore the wishes of its employees to be covered by a fair collective agreement.”

BHP reportedly declined to comment.

The ruling comes as the miner is still under siege in a long running industrial dispute at its joint venture BMA coal mines in Queensland.

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