BHP Billiton share price (BLT): Australian union slams miner’s attempt to limit strikes

on Mar 31, 2015
Updated: Oct 21, 2019

Australia’s mining union said today that suggestions which BHP Billiton (LON:BLT) had made in workplace-related recommendations would severely limit workers’ rights to stage strikes and would give more power to the already immensely powerful mining companies.

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Shares in BHP Billiton were down 0.30 percent at 1,507.50p as of 09:44 BST in London today, amid a 0.21 percent lower FTSE 100 index. The Basic Materials index had gained 1.09 percent.
The mining group, which employs some 23,000 employees and another 34,000 contract workers in Australia, said over the weekend in recommendations to the Productivity Commission that “Protected industrial action should be limited to strikes by employees or a lockout, responsive or otherwise, by the employer. There should be no place for selective work bans.”
BHP Billiton cited its reasons for the suggestion as seeking to ensure safe and engaging workplace and needing a reward system more aligned to performance. The company also cited a need to make the company internationally competitive, diverse and inclusive. The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) slammed the suggestion as an attempt to limit the workers’ rights.
“BHP coal mines are producing record amounts of coal because of a good union agreement that facilitates improved productivity,” CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland president, Steve Smyth, said in the union’s press release. Nevertheless, BHP continues to attack hard-fought work rights and conditions in its coal mines, Smyth noted.
“BHP should stop attacking workers’ reasonable rights to take industrial action and start focusing on being a better employer and corporate citizen,” the union leader said.
The CFMEU recommend several courses of action that BHP could take to improve as an employer. They asserted that the company should stop trying to drive down wages, focus on safety for workers, reduce discrimination in the workplace and to negotiate in good faith.
As of 10:28 BST, Tuesday, 31 March, BHP Billiton plc share price is 1,499.75p.


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