BHP was likened to the Grinch who stole Christmas when a key miners’ union fronted the company’s AGM to question executives over the roll-out of Operations Services.
The CFMEU argues that the use of the internal labour hire subsidiary to cut the wages and conditions of workers at BHP coal mines is affecting production and damaging the company’s standing in mining communities.
As well working on much lower pay and worse conditions than direct BHP employees, the latest insult for Operations Services workers was being told they must work Christmas Day, delegates told the meeting.
Peak Downs mineworker and CFMEU delegate Scott Leggett, who travelled to Sydney for the AGM, said the OS workers beside him deserved the same pay and conditions as workers on BHP’s site agreement.
CFMEU Mining and Energy Northern District Vice-President Jeff Drayton, who represents workers at BHP’s Mount Arthur mine in the Hunter Valley, said shareholders deserved to know that the loss of permanent jobs held by experienced workers was hurting people and production.
“Workers are voting with their feet. There is very high turnover. Mining is hard work and if people aren’t getting the pay and conditions they won’t stick around,” he said.
“BHP needs the support of the communities it operates in. Alienating workers by cutting wages and cancelling Christmas is simply bad for business.
“Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the response to our concerns was dismissive. We will continue to fight for the interests of mineworkers and mining communities affected by BHP’s poor corporate behaviour.”