The Mining and Energy Union said today it was shameful to see BHP arguing that it must maintain an unfair two-tiered employment system so it can continue employing women and indigenous workers on lower rates across its mining operations.
BHP’s submission to the Closing Loopholes Bill Senate Inquiry says that its in-house labour hire subsidiary Operations Services (OS) and OS training pathway FutureFit were critical to its plans for increasing female and indigenous employment.
BHP also claims that paying OS workers the same rates as mineworkers covered by site Enterprise Agreements would be prohibitively expensive.
MEU Acting Queensland District President Mitch Hughes said BHP’s wildly-increasing projections about the cost of fairer workplace laws reflected the mining giant’s desperation to maintain the status quo rather than the reality of proposed changes.
“BHP are adding up projects that don’t exist yet and projects not covered by enterprise agreements, decades into the future.
“At the end of the day, BHP has built an employment model on unfair foundations – where some workers are paid less than others for doing the same job, merely to boost BHP’s mega-profits.
“Their admission they are using this model as a vehicle to boost representation of women and indigenous workers is appalling.
“BHP can afford to employ coal mineworkers on the enterprise agreements they negotiate for this very workforce. They can afford to achieve gender balance and greater indigenous representation while also paying people fairly.
“They don’t need special cut-price labour hire subsidiaries and training pathways to achieve diversity goals; and they certainly shouldn’t be threatening to trash these goals if they are required to pay all workers at the appropriate site rate.”
Contact: Mitch Hughes 0405 285 547
Mr Hughes and MEU coal mining members will appear at the Closing Loopholes Senate Inquiry hearing in Rockhampton on Tuesday 31 October at 9am.