Mining town women take challenge to Kloppers

 A delegation of women representing Moranbah, Emerald, Blackwater, and Dysart have invited BHP head Marius Kloppers to visit their towns to see how the boom is affecting the region.

The women – Denise Robertson; Leslie West; and Renee Hughes, wrote the letter on behalf of the women in central Queensland mining towns that support BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) coal mines, according to the Daily Mercury.

They sent the letter yesterday, and are yet to hear whether Kloppers will visit the region.

The letter comes as BMA approves its latest coal operation in the region – the Caval Ridge mine, which faced serious opposition, in particular due to its decision to make the workforce 100% fly in fly out.

Last month also saw a continuation of the ongoing strikes that have crippled the miner for the last year.

More than 90% of workers within the union rejected BMA’s latest enterprise agreement.

"The agreement was voted down, in line with the history of first votes. The result has not changed BMA’s resolve to reach an agreement that meets the needs of the business and its employees as quickly as possible," a BHP spokesperson stated.

The latest offer included a 5 per cent year-on-year pay rise for three years, a $15,000 bonus and other benefits.

According to Reuters, CFMEU mining and energy president Steve Smyth said the union and BMA are "still miles apart" on what the employment agreements should contain.

The mining representative women stated that it is not about money, "tather, they – and we – are worried about changes to their rosters, conditions and accommodation that we know will have a negative impact on our families," they stated.

A BMA spokesperson told the Daily Mercury that a company representative had met with the group and it is considering the letter.



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