APESMA has urged BHP Billiton to start listening to concerns of mine supervisors at the company’s Dendrobium mine as employees consider industrial action.
Mine supervisors at the Illawarra coalmine operation will this week hold an industrial action ballot in response to continued intransigence from the mining company’s head office.
Fair Work Australia has approved the ballot of frontline mine supervisors – also known as deputies – in their quest for an acceptable enterprise agreement to replace their EA expiring on December 31.
After almost six months of negotiations, BHP’s most recent offer received an overwhelming rejection, said APESMA Senior Organiser, Margaret Buchanan.
“Dendrobium’s mine supervisors are working towards a new agreement which rectifies the current disparity where the base pay of deputies in the Illawarra is lower than the rest of NSW,” Ms Buchanan said.
“BHP will no doubt muddy the water with talk about the ‘package’ offered to these vital employees. But the fact remains their base rate of pay has a significant impact on their superannuation and bonuses.
“With BHP’s size and profitability, they can afford to offer equality to supervisors on the frontline of mine safety in the Illawarra.”
Mine supervisors who are members of APESMA will vote on a range of actions in an on-site ballot on December 20 and 21. Decisions about implementing industrial action will depend on the outcome of the ballot.