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A group of unionists holding placards reading "Same Job. Less Pay. How is that fair?"


BHP drops flawed OS Maintenance Agreement

August 30, 2023

BHP has withdrawn its application to the Fair Work Commission for approval of an Enterprise Agreement covering maintenance workers employed by its in-house labour hire provider Operations Services (OS).

This represents yet another win for MEU members against BHP and gives OS maintenance workers an opportunity to fight for further improvements in their working conditions.

In August, BHP’s legal team informed the Commission they would withdraw their application for approval of the condition. The MEU had challenged the Agreement on the grounds it was not properly explained, including BHP’s proposed regional hub set-up.

Mining and Energy Union Queensland Vice President Mitch Hughes said this was great news for labour hire miners trying to close the gap in pay and conditions with direct employees.

“While we keep fighting for a legal right to Same Job Same Pay for labour hire workers, we are also working hard on the ground to achieve better agreements.

In March, BHP put the Maintenance Agreement out to its OS workforce for a vote, offering a $5000 sign-on bonus. The Agreement was voted up by employees, however the company conceded that the Union’s objections were legally correct.

“It’s great that BHP has dropped this flawed OS Maintenance Agreement, which offers substandard conditions and was not adequately explained to workers,” said Mr Hughes.

“BHP is dropping this agreement because they know there is no hope of getting it approved.

“OS Maintenance workers are already in a better position because of the gains won by their workmates in OS Production including a guaranteed pay rise.

In July, OS Production workers voted up a new agreement after pressuring BHP to improve its offer.
After workers took protected industrial action, OS Production workers gained a guaranteed 4% wage increases, paid flights, accident pay and greater certainty over job location.

“We have recent examples of how we can shift BHP on pay and conditions that they have resisted for five years.

“Through workers standing together through their Union we can improve workers’ rights, pay, conditions and safety.

“Now OS Maintenance workers will have the opportunity to push BHP even further towards Same Job Same Pay.”

The Operations Services Maintenance Agreement applies widely in Western and South Australia as well as Queensland.

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