Business

Disputes between workers and BMA after new enterprise deal

THE new three-year enterprise deal between workers and BHP Billiton coal miners failed to recognise the importance of skilled workers and apprentices, according to a union involved in its negotiation.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union was part of the trio of trade unions that spent 24 months locked in negotiations with BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance as they thrashed out a new agreement covering five Central Queensland mines.

AMWU Bowen Basin organiser Jason Lund said he was already being told of emerging disputes between workers and BMA less than a week after the deal was formalised by Fair Work Australia on October 26.

He said the agreement did not specifically recognise trade-skilled staff and lacked detail on how many apprentices BMA was to train.

>>Read the full enterprise agreement here

Years spent wrangling - even as mines were mothballed - frustrated members who Mr Lund said were ready to end the fighting.

The union's position was to neither support nor endorse each proposed agreement, leaving it to workers to decide.

"The membership looked at this and thought, 'Is this the best deal? No it's not, but it will get us through the next three years," Mr Lund said.

"We could have boxed on for a lot longer but at what point do you say enough is enough?

"It was up to the (three unions) to make the judgement and say, 'Let's roll it out to the members and see what happens'."

In March, the SBU - which was the united front of the AMWU, Electrical Trades Union and the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union - released an update on potential changes being put by BMA.

It included a risk of change for work hours, rosters, start locations and tool allowances among other issues.

In early July, Federal Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten asked Bill Kelty to mediate the dispute.

An industrial ceasefire remained until October 22 when the deal was supported by workers.

By the end of the week it was rubberstamped by Fair Work.

Once the deal was done, the CFMEU cheered roster flexibility, the covering of safety check inspectors, housing agreements and higher superannuation contributions but said the fight for improved conditions would go on.

Mr Lund said although he accepted the deal having being done, cracks in the settlement were beginning to show.

"I can see us sitting here for the next three years arguing with BMA," Mr Lund said.

"I could be wrong, but I can't see it improving, not with the document we've got."

It is understood the AMWU had "hundreds" of members working at BMA sites although exact figures were unavailable at the time of writing.BMA declined to comment.

 

A look at what a miner can earn:

ANNUAL RATE: 2012/13: $83,780-$139,250. 2013/14: $87,968- $146,212. 2014/2015: $92,367-153,323.

OVERTIME PER HOUR: 2012/13: $75.08. 2013/14: $78.83. 2014/15: $82.77.

OTHER CONDITIONS: Free membership at Moranbah gym. Two pairs of prescription glasses if needed. Must supply own tools, but will be replaced if damaged on site. Workers can receive up to $15,000 a year, paid per week, as a bonus. If made redundant, will receive $5000 to relocate.

Topics:  australian manufacturing workers union, bhp billiton mitsubishi alliance, bma, enterprise agreement




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Man injured by falling tree at Inglewood

The Queensland Ambulance Service was on scene after a tree felling accident at Inglewood yesterday.

Tree felling accident at Inglewood

4 things to try in Warwick this week.

The Criterion Hotel is a fixture of Warwick entertainment on Palmerin St. Photo Sophie Lester / Warwick Daily News

Hmmm, what to do this week?

Lost photographs searching for an owner

LOST: Nic McMahon with the old photos she found in Rose City Shoppingworld carpark last Thursday.

Do these photos belong to you?

Latest deals and offers


Crushing success at Stanthorpe festival’s milestone

The Apple and Grape Harvest Festival has had another successful year

The best retro movies of the week? May 27 - June 3

Gregory Peck Photo Contributed

This week TV fan get to see Tom Cruise in a 1980s classics

Warwick High student named as hockey nationals umpire

Interview with Warwick High student Isaac Johnson who has been named as an umpire...

Start of Pentath-run wheelchair race in Warwick

Start of Wheelchair race at Pentath-run 1500

Warwick Hospital Get Up Petition

Deuchar resident Trevor Ives is heading up a GetUp petition against Federal Government cuts of as much as $62.8 million to funding at Warwick Hospital. Photo Jayden Brown / Warwick Daily News

Deuchar resident Trevor Ives talks about a GetUp petition calling for no cuts to...

Own Sunshine Coast property? You’re about to make money

UP AND UP: Property owners are likely to win from rent and price increases but tenants and first home buyers might not be so happy. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

Good new for property owners, not so good for buyers and tenants.

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked