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Northern Mining & NSW Energy

NSW South Western




Western Australia

A graphic reading "Programmed's EA offer is not good enough. Vote No. You deserve fair pay and conditions."


Vote ‘no’ to get Programmed back to the table

August 30, 2023

The biggest labour hire provider in the NSW mining industry is offering workers a substandard new agreement that attempts to lock in one of the lowest base pay rates in the Northern District.

Programmed Skilled mineworkers are being urged to vote No to an offer including pay rates just 2% above the Award minimum and keep negotiating for a better deal.

Programmed has contracts at the Northern District’s biggest mines, including Hunter Valley Operations (Yancoal/Glencore), Bengalla (New Hope), Maules Creek (Whitehaven), Mount Thorley Warkworth (Yancoal), Mt Arthur (BHP), and Mt Pleasant (MACH Energy), and services client mines owned by BHP and Whitehaven.

These mines and companies are making made multi-billion-dollar profits. 

  • BHP made a pre-tax profit of $2.8 billion at Mt Arthur in the year to June 2023
  • Whitehaven made a profit of $2.67 billion (after tax) in 2022-23
  • Hunter Valley Operations made a $2 billion profit in 2022
  • New Hope group is forecasting a record profit of $1.75 billion (pre-tax) in 2022-23, with figures due in September.

Despite these enormous profits, Programmed are offering workers up to $35,000 less a year than permanent mineworkers at these mines.

Programmed workers are being urged to vote no to a proposed Enterprise Agreement that keeps workers at one of the lowest base pay rates in their District with key conditions critically missing. Sick leave, long service leave and accident pay are not paid as at work, leaving workers worse off. District average bonus is also not included. 

The Agreement will go out for a vote on Monday 4 September.

Our Union is urging all workers to vote no to this dud deal and force Programmed back to the table so we can negotiate for better pay and conditions closer to industry standards.

Programmed could easily pay their workers in line with industry standards but the labour hire business model works to keep wages and conditions down, said Northern Mining and NSW Energy District President Robin Williams.

“It’s shameful that Programmed employees who work at some of our most profitable mines are being asked to accept some of the lowest wages and poorest conditions.

“A look at the profits of these client mines shows they are earning plenty of money for these businesses.

“Programmed and the mining companies they are contracted with are attempting to deprive workers of the standard pay and conditions that are customary throughout the District.

“Our message to all Programmed workers is that your voice matters and you can send a powerful message to your employer.

“By voting no, you can bring them back to the table and keep negotiating a better agreement.”

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