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Same Job Same Pay applications made for 1700 BHP labour hire miners 

June 12, 2024

The Mining and Energy Union has today filed a series of applications in the Fair Work Commission for Same Job Same Pay orders covering labour hire workers at three large BHP coal mines in Queensland. 

The 10 applications for regulated labour hire arrangement orders cover approximately 1700 labour hire workers employed by WorkPac, Chandler Macleod and BHP subsidiary Operations Services at Peak Downs, Saraji and Goonyella Riverside open cut mines in Central Queensland’s Bowen Basin. 

Each application identifies the BMA Enterprise Agreement 2022 as the relevant host employment instrument to set rates of pay for labour hire workers on those sites, who perform work covered by the Agreement. It is anticipated that the orders would lift the pay of affected labour hire workers in the range of $10,000 to $40,000 a year, depending on factors including skills, rosters and current remuneration including bonus payments. 

MEU Queensland President Mitch Hughes said it was important to address the labour hire rort at BHP, being the biggest player in Australia’s coal industry. 

“BHP has driven the casual labour hire model that has spread like a cancer throughout coal mining, driving down wages and job security across the industry,” said Mr Hughes. 

“Today’s applications are a major step towards stamping out this model and closing the loopholes that have allowed BHP to avoid paying fair rates in site enterprise agreements. 

“BHP must accept that using labour hire purely to cut pay is out of step with community standards and is now out of step with the law.”  

Mr Hughes said the MEU would work through any legal opposition from BHP to the applications and continue to develop and lodge Same Job Same Pay applications across the coal industry, including at BHP’s other coal operations. Peak Downs, Saraji and Goonyella Riverside are three of five Queensland coal mines owned by the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) and operated by BHP. 

Applications lodged today include: 

  • Operations Services production and maintenance employees at Peak Downs, Saraji and Goonyella Riverside 
  • WorkPac employees at Peak Downs, Saraji and Goonyella Riverside 
  • Chandler Macleod/Ready Workforce employees at Peak Downs. 

Taken together, the applications cover approximately 1,700 labour hire workers across the three mines. Approximately 1,500 production workers are directly employed acros the three mines under the BMA Agreement.

Yesterday, the MEU filed a Same Job Same Pay application for WorkPac employees at Rixs Creek mine in the NSW Hunter Valley. 

A prior application covering WorkPac employees at Callide mine in Biloela is currently before the Commission.

Media contact – Ned Bukarica 0439 060 556

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