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Northern Mining & NSW Energy

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Western Australia


No race to the bottom on wages for critical minerals

July 28, 2023

The Mining and Energy Union has rejected BHP’s claims that future critical minerals projects would be adversely affected by new laws to close loopholes affecting the pay of labour hire workers.

Comments by BHP President Geraldine Slattery reported today suggest that future investment in copper could be affected by proposed Same Job Same Pay provisions for labour hire workers and that Australia needs to compete with international competitors on wages for a successful critical minerals future.  

Mining and Energy Union General Secretary Grahame Kelly said that Australians rightly expected decent wages and fair working conditions in exchange for multinationals like BHP profiting from the nation’s mineral resources.

Mr Kelly said BHP was running a scare campaign against proposed laws designed to address current wage rorts in the mining industry, that would lead to some labour hire workers being paid more.

“BHP is pulling numbers out of thin air about the impact of laws that aren’t yet finalised on projects that haven’t been built,” said Mr Kelly.

“We totally reject BHP’s suggestion that Australia’s future critical minerals industry can only succeed with a race to the bottom on wages. 

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. 

“It would set the Australian mining industry up for a more sustainable future where workers can bargain from a level playing field and that a new generation of Australian workers want to be involved in.”

To learn more about the Same Job Same Pay legislation the MEU has put together a Same Job Same Pay website with stories from real workers and community members not paid actors. We encourage everyone to get the facts from

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