Possible 24hr strikes at Bowen Basin mines

The strikes at BHPBilliton’s Bowen Basin mines look set to continue as the company fails to reach an agreement with the union.

Following mass meetings with union members this week, the Single Bargaining Unit (SBU) has not ruled out 24-hour stoppages.

The Construction Forestry Mining and Engineering Union (CFMEU) vice president Glenn Power told Central Queensland News members have indicated they will continue striking because the BMA Mitsubishi Alliance has not listened to their requests.

“Surprisingly, on the first day, the company (BMA) seemed to have a change in mindset about a few of the major issues,” he said.

“I don’t know what it was but on Tuesday, when they came back, they were back to their arrogant approach toward the negotiations.”

The SBU is made up of the AMWU, CFMEU and ETU and has been in negotiations with the company since December, arguing for better pay in line with the company’s profits, more involvement in work rosters and better job security.

The SBU, comprising the AMWU, CFMEU and ETU, have been engaged in enterprise agreement negotiations with the resource conglomerate since December regarding seven of its Bowen Basin mines.

Power said some progress has been made, but there is “far more to be done”.
A BMA spokeswoman yesterday told the Central Queensland News the company believes “good progress is being made”.

“Given the encouraging progress, BMA again stresses that further industrial action at this time is unnecessary as it will not be in the best interest of finalising an agreement,” she said.

“Meetings (with the unions) are scheduled until the end of July.”

Workers at Gregory Crinum stopped work on Wednesday to attend a report-back meeting at McIndoe Park, while union members at Norwich Park and Saraji striked yesterday to meet in Dysart.

Peak Downs and Goonyella Riverside workers then met in Moranbah yesterday afternoon and Blackwater mine workers were expected to hold a mass meeting this morning.

Gregory Crinum workers will hold a 12-hour shift stoppage on Sunday.

Image: Central Queensland News