|Issue No 69||01 September 2000|
Two Day Strike Hits BHP Mines
Mineworkers at five BHP coal operations in Queensland and NSW stopped work for 48 hours this week with the company refusing to address workers' claims.
At present there are six BHP operations locked in enterprise agreement talks - Crinum, Gregory and Hay Point in Queensland and Appin, Tower and Cordeaux in NSW.
At the sixth, Gregory, where there have been no negotiations so far, BHP was instructed by the IR Commission to start talking to the Unions.
The miners union -the CFMEU - says for the past two years mineworkers and their communities have suffered all the pain while the company has reaped all the gain. Jobs have been slashed, productivity has skyrocketed, and profits have soared.
In the past two years BHP has made $1.86 billion profit from coal. Over 2000 BHP coal workers have lost their jobs and there has been a staggering 54% increase in productivity per person.
CFMEU (Mining) President Tony Maher says BHP miners are sick of being taken for granted.
'The company likes to drive up the share price but doesn't pass on the benefits to those at the coalface. What is even more hypocritical is they have collective agreements in steel which deliver good outcomes. Mineworkers are delivering better profits and returns on capital but don't get the rewards,' he says.
'The employer always says we must share the pain in the bad times but won't share the benefits in the good times.'
BHP workers in the mines want
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