Union slams BMA ignorance, strikes continue

The workers strikes across BMA’s Bowen Basin mines will continue this week, with the miners union blaming the company’s reluctance to take their concerns seriously.

The Single Bargaining Unit, comprising of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Engineering Union, (CFMEU), the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) and the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) are “sick and tired of the same rhetoric being spat out of the company’s PR machine,” CFMEU president Stephen Smyth said in a statement.

Smyth said the workers feel ignored by the company, which they have been in enterprise negotiations with since December.

He said stop work meetings, which were supposed to conclude on Monday, have not produced the results wanted by workers, and further strikes could happen at the Blackwater mine on Friday night.

"We’ll go back now and talk to the delegates and the officials from each union and we’ll determine whether the same approach is taken at the other mines within the group," he said.

The CFMEU believes BMA is ignoring the main issues and failing to listen to workers, despite yesterday announcing progress was being made.

"It’s just disappointing that the company is well aware of what the sticking points are and they continue to not want to negotiate, in our view, in a positive manner," he said.

"At this stage there is the potential for further industrial action but we’ll go back, we’ll look at what our options are, and we’ll go from there.

"Our members have made it very clear on what the issues are and they’re not addressing them – [BMA] seem to be wanting to bypass them."

BMA has said from the outset of the strikes that it is disappointed with the action of workers and maintains it has been conducting enterprise bargaining negotiations in good faith.


Image: BMA workers at stop work meeting in Emerald; The Central Queensland News

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