Remote workers welcomed a multinational’s workplace entitlement perks.
BHP fly-in fly-out (FIFO) employees recently accepted a 4 per cent wage increase, paid FIFO flights, accident pay and performance bonuses.
“Operations Services (OS) production workers have voted up a new agreement after pressuring BHP to improve its offer,” the Mining and Energy Union (MEU) said in a member update.
MEU previously opposed the 2023 OS production enterprise agreement (EA) due to a lack of clarity on how payments are calculated and concerns about the accuracy of overtime rates, allowances and penalties.
“The union advocated a ‘no’ vote believing more could be achieved,” the update said.
“These are important gains which BHP resisted for five years.”
These remarks came days after general secretary Grahame Kelly confirmed his employer can challenge an EA if most employees reject the offer.
“The union can challenge EAs we believe do not meet specific legal requirements and we have successfully challenged many such EAs in the mining industry. However, if EAs are voted up by a majority of workers … and meet the legal requirements set out by the Fair Work Commission then, generally, the agreement is made and is valid,” he said in a letter to Federal Employment Minister Tony Burke.
Kelly urged the Albanese government to revise workplace legislation to stop coal jobs from being casualised.
“If the law precluded coal mine workers from being employed as casuals because of the lack of award provisions for casuals, a series of class actions for casual miners in 2021 would have been successful,” he said in the letter.
“Instead the class actions relied on the WorkPac judgments won by our union, which were overturned by the Federal Parliament (with the support of One Nation) in the first instance – and then as determined by the High Court.”