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BHP Billiton has threatened to take legal action against union groups over their plans to launch an advertising campaign against the company.
The legal threat is the latest action in a long running dispute between Queensland coalminers and the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance.
Yesterday the mining union announced plans for the advertising campaign, claiming BMA had backed away from committing to family-friendly rosters and acceptable pay deals.
The advertisements will target BHP’s record profts and claim miners will be forced to work on Christmas Day.
CFMEU mining and energy Queensland president Stephen Smyth told the ABC the advertisements were an attempt by the union to give its members and the public the facts of the argument.
“What we’re trying to achieve with the ads is obviously a part of our strategy and our campaign to get the factual information out to our members, their wives, the communities they live in and families in general,” he said.
But BMA has rejected the union’s argument, and said its offer to workers has no requirement to work longer hours or on Christmas Day.
BHP has written to unions demanding the advertisements be removed, but they have rejected the request.
The BMA has further angered unions by attempting to circumvent them and put an agreement offer directly to workers.
The union’s said strikes would continue over the dispute, and it had planned stoppages for several mines today and next week.
Any court ruling on the issue could set a precedent for similar advertisements of their kind, which have become increasingly popular with companies and industry groups.