After months trying to negotiate and BHP still refusing to budge on bringing salaries up to NSW standards, mining supervisors at Appin Mine started a 14 day strike this morning.
“No-one takes the decision to go on a two-week strike lightly. These mining supervisors have never taken industrial action before. They have been trying to negotiate for five months, so they are extremely frustrated and upset that BHP is still not listening,” said Collieries Staff Division director Catherine Bolger.
As a result of the protracted negotiations, 98 per cent of Appin mining supervisors voted to support protected action two weeks ago, however they continued to negotiate with BHP in the hope of reaching agreement and avoid any need for action.
“This decision to take action should prompt BHP to reflect on the way it is treating its employees. These supervisors carry a big load for the company – they have frontline responsibility for keeping Appin safe, productive and profitable. They are simply looking for a fair go in negotiating a new agreement,” said Ms Bolger.
“These mining supervisors are going on strike because BHP isn’t listening to their concerns or giving them a fair go. They can see local Illawarra Coal mine management being directed by BHP’s corporate HQ not to come to a reasonable deal that reflects their value and role in making the mine functional and profitable.
“Every single day these mining supervisors demonstrate their commitment and dedication to BHP when they keep the mine and its workforce, safe and productive. However when they try to negotiate a fair deal, they find themselves up against a giant faceless multinational that refuses to value their work.
“BHP used to be the heart and soul of Australia. It sustained local jobs and it was committed to the community. Now when 52 local mining supervisors try to negotiate, they go up against a corporate behemoth that is more interested in profits that its own people.