‘Not allowed to even eat’: Miners want better conditions
ONLY four per cent of Queensland miners employed under a BHP subsidiary are satisfied that their pay and conditions stack up with the industry, a union survey has found.
It comes amid claims from the CFMEU that the mining giant is trying to lock in its "substandard" conditions.
Of 492 Queensland-based Operations Services workers who completed the union's survey, 92 per cent said their wages and conditions were not competitive and need improvement, another 4 per cent were unsure.
Only 4 per cent indicated they were satisfied.
About one in three respondents (32 per cent) to the survey reported they were not confident about raising safety issues without fear of being targeted.
Operations Services is a BHP labour hire subsidiary which gives people who were previously employed on short term contracts the opportunity to apply for permanent roles with BHP.
The CFMEU has argued OS workers are now employed on contracts reflecting the same conditions as the EAs thrown out by the Fair Work Commission, with up to $50,000 a year less pay than permanent BHP employees.
A BHP spokesman said OS now employs more than 3500 people and continues to recruit for up to 100 new permanent roles per week.
"To date, we have received nearly 84,000 applications for Operations Services roles since we began in April 2018 - a clear endorsement of how attractive the offering is in Queensland and across the country," he said.
But CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland president Stephen Smyth said the survey results sent a clear message to BHP that it was time to negotiate a better deal with their OS workers.
"Operations Services workers tell us over and over again they are unhappy with their treatment," Mr Smyth said.
"BHP must stop the dirty tricks and start genuine bargaining."
The company's spokesman said BHP was engaging directly with its employees and had shared proposed simple safety net enterprise agreements.
"Both of which address the feedback raised by the Fair Work Commission about the previous enterprise agreements," he said.
OS worker at Blackwater mine Brodie Allen said he and others felt like they were being treated as second-class citizens.
"We do our shift, when we finish our shift they don't allow us any time or access to the bath house that's on site to actually get changed or have a shower," Mr Allen said.
"It's absolutely disgusting the way that they treat us here, we're not allowed to even eat."
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