Strikes again cripple BMA coal mines

 Negotiations have again broken down between BHP Billiton and mining unions as rolling strikes break out across the Bowen Basin coal mines.

Around 3500 miners are striking following the latest failed round of enterprise bargaining, the ABC reports.

According to the CFMEU district president Stephen Smyth, BHP put forth changes to previous areas of agreement, in particular areas that would diminish miners’ abilities to have a greater say on their allocated rosters.

This is just the latest round in close to 18 months of enterprise bargaining negotiations between the two groups.

Earlier this month a leaked BHP email claimed that the miner would never negotiate on key points in the enterprise bargaining agreements, however the miner later claimed that it meant that it would budge on moves by the union to put its people into positions of key authority.

The CFMEU claims that the main sticking points relate to working hours, safety concerns, and rosters.

However BHP, through its joint venture BMA, claim that negotiations are continually stalling as the union seeks to increase its power on site.