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Central Queensland mine jobs “under threat”

Mining giant BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance has refused to rule out contracting out its entire permanent workforce at its Bowen Basin mines, including Peak Downs, Saraji and Goonyella Riverside, the CFMEU said today.

CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland District President Steve Smyth said the company’s recent move to casualise the workforce at its Blackwater mine could be just the beginning of BHP’s plans to contract out the rest of its permanent workforce in Central Queensland.

“We’ve approached BHP directly to ask them about their plans for their remaining permanent employees across the Bowen Basin and they have refused to give an answer,” said Mr Smyth.

“They won’t rule out using this same strategy at other mines and it’s clear that all permanent, local positions with BMA in Central Queensland are under threat.”

Mr Smyth said BHP’s decision to remove up to 306 permanent, secure jobs at Blackwater – without consulting with local workers, their union or the community – was indicative of its ruthless and damaging approach.

“If BHP had any respect for its current loyal employees or the communities near its coalmines it would give its remaining employees peace of mind and rule out casualising the workforce at its other Bowen Basin mines,” said Mr Smyth.

“By refusing to do so, BHP is making it obvious that all it wants is a compliant workforce which is paid less, has inferior working conditions and can be sacked at a moment’s notice.

“BHP’s mineworkers across Central Queensland are extremely anxious about their future and the future of their families.

“We’re calling on BHP to show some loyalty to its workforce and immediately rule out further casualisation of its local workforce in the Bowen Basin.

“Local workers and communities deserve to share in the benefits of the natural resources in their local area and if BHP continues to attack local, secure jobs it risks losing its social license to mine.”

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