A mining giant revealed how much it could spend on mandatory wage increases.
BHP predicts new rules requiring all employees to be paid the same could give affected staff members a big raise.
“Based on the information we have available we believe same job same pay could increase the operating costs of our existing operations by nearly US$200 million (A$297.7M) per year, and maybe up to US$500M (A$744.4M) in a worst case scenario,” Australia president Geraldine Slattery said according to Fairfax Media.
“The hit to the value of any potential growth plans in South Australia [alone] could be anywhere up to US$2 billion (A$2.9B).”
Slattery blamed a 74 per cent drop in engineering graduates between the years 2015 and 2022. She also criticised an 8 per cent fall in worker productivity plus a 100 per cent jump in labour expenses.
“Australia has one of the highest labour costs in the world – around 12 per cent higher than in the United States,” she said according to the media outlet.
However, the Mining and Energy Union rejected the resources executive’s claims, especially that employees should be more productive.
“BHP is pulling numbers out of thin air about the impact of laws that are not yet finalised on projects that have not been built,” general secretary Grahame Kelly said in a public statement.
“Same job same pay would close the loopholes that have allowed some mining companies to rort the system by paying part of the workforce less than the rates genuinely agreed between employers and employees at a site.”