Workers locked out of Appin coal mine

BHP will lock out its workers for the third time in four weeks.

The 48 hour lockout will start at 6:00am on Sunday and run until Tuesday.

The Association of Professional Engineers Scientist and Managers Australia (APESMA) chief Chris Walton stated that the three lockouts in four weeks was excessive and did nothing to solve the ongoing dispute.

“Locking out supervisors does not fix this dispute. We call on BHP to cancel this lockout an recommence discussions to resolve this dispute immediately.”

“It is extremely disappointing that BHP plans to lock out these workers again. Every lockout is disruptive and makes resolution more difficult and further away.”

“The quickest and easiest way to fix this is for BHP to return to the negotiating table and talk to these mining supervisors like adults.”

BHP most recently locked out its workers two weeks ago.

The lockout came after the mining supervisors gave the company notification of their plans to undertake stop work meetings.

The supervisors have carried out a series of strikes since late last year, when fifty supervisors walked off the job in a long running pay disputes.

The workers' are fighting for a pay increase of 18 per cent to align with ‘market adjustments’ as well as a 4 per cent rise each year as part of a new enterprise agreement.

President of Illawarra Coal Troy McDonald has previously stated the miners’ demands were unreasonable.

‘This is clearly not a reasonable demand especially in the current challenging environment in the coal industry with falling prices and a high Australian dollar,’’ he said.

‘[The] Appin Mine supervisors’ base salaries have increased more than 18 per cent over the past four years including an average increase of five per cent in September this year.’’

Strikes have also gripped BHP's other Illawarra coal mine, Dendrobium.

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