Heavy vehicle operators stop work until resources giant lifts pay

November 19, 2023 Richard Szabo

A mining multinational will need to improve employee conditions before industrial action ends, industry representatives said.

A total of 95 per cent of train operators recently voted to stop services and ban work until BHP guarantees annual wage increases.

The Mining and Energy Union (MEU) is also demanding better rosters, accommodation, training, flight assistance and dispute resolution processes for about 500 workers.

“We are simply seeking guarantees … not to be at the whim of individual supervisors and inconsistent policies,” Newman operator Dylan Chapman said at the proponent’s 2023 annual general meeting.

“Ninety five per cent of BHP Pilbara rail crew voted in favour of taking protected industrial action. This result shows the depth of drivers’ frustration with BHP’s arrogance and refusal to take their concern seriously.”

MEU and BHP Iron Ore have spent almost two years bargaining for a new locomotive drivers agreement. The proponent earlier refused to negotiate a new deal and was made to revise its offer through a majority support petition.

The union claimed BHP was “keen to get back to the bargaining table” at the time of publication.

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