A new Enterprise Agreement at BMA mines in Queensland has been voted up by 74% of employees who voted after a period of bargaining that has spanned over two years.

The union has reached an agreement with BHP which will effectively see a rollover of the 2012 agreement, with improvements in relation to job security and redundancy processes. The new agreement also contains two per cent annual increases.

It covers over 2000 workers at BMA mines in Queensland, including Blackwater, Saraji, Goonyella Riverside and Peak Downs.

The company initially attempted to completely gut the terms and conditions contained in the 2012 agreement and to put in place a separate agreement covering employees at the Blackwater Mine on substantially inferior terms and conditions.

CFMEU Mining and Energy Division Queensland District President Stephen Smyth said the union had taken a strong stand on behalf of its workforce.

“This is the union’s largest enterprise agreement in Queensland, and we are very pleased that a drawn out and difficult negotiation has now been resolved,” Stephen Smyth said.

“BHP initially sought to put in place two separate enterprise agreements containing different terms and conditions. In our view that approach was simply designed to undermine the capacity of those workers to maintain fair terms and conditions.

“It has taken over two years to peg BHP back from their initial unrealistic and ideological proposal that sought to fundamentally reduce the terms and conditions of thousands of workers in Queensland.

“BHP attempted to remove or reduce numerous terms and conditions from the 2012 agreement by attacking representation in the workplace, the ability to pursue disputes, accommodation costs, bonus provisions, wages, and job security.

“This is a good outcome for our members and we are pleased that the replacement agreement includes enhanced job security while maintaining the terms and conditions held under the previous agreement.”

Source: AAP

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