‘Absolutely stoked’: OS workers celebrate victory over BHP
In a fantastic victory against BHP, the full bench of the Fair Work Commission has finally ruled that two Enterprise Agreements covering the Operations Services workforce are not legally valid. Now, OS workers are looking forward to their chance to negotiate a better deal.
Brodie Allen, an OS worker at Blackwater mine, said he and his workmates were elated at the news.
“The reaction from all the boys and girls that I’m working with they are absolutely stoked. They’re actually stoked that they’ve got an opportunity to negotiate now for something a lot better.”
CFMEU member Brodie is determined to fight for the conditions received by BHP employees on site EAs – like accident pay built into the EA, guaranteed bonus and pay rises.
“We also want security around the site location that we actually work at. We don’t want to have to work on the other side of the country further away from our families.
“Christmas and Boxing Day is a big one, we want those days off so we can spend it with our friends and family. We want protection on the rosters, the hours of work and redundancies actually built into the EA and we want defined pay increases because at the moment there are none scheduled for us.”
Queensland District Senior Vice-President Mitch Hughes says BHP should do the right thing now their dodgy OS agreements have been binned – by apologising to workers and hiring them on existing site agreements.
“In reality I don’t think BHP are going to do either of those things. So what we need to do is get them to the table and negotiate a fairer set of terms and conditions. We’ve got a clean slate, those agreements are dead. So let’s start from the start and negotiate something decent.
“That process of negotiations and the agreement that comes out of it needs to address all the issues that the OS workers are facing right now everything from their flights right through to issues such as changing shifts and rosters.”
And for OS workers like Brodie Allen – those negotiations have to include site specific grievances as well – like travel arrangements that leave workers exhausted, without food or an opportunity to shower.
Mitch Hughes says that negotiating a better deal for OS workers can only happen if workers get involved in the campaign.
“We’ve been out on site doing right of entries every week so we’re on site in the crib rooms visiting and talking to those OS workers.They need to listen, they need to get involved and when the time comes they need to back us.”
A great result, but now the hard work begins of working together to achieve a better deal for OS workers. Keep up to date with issues affecting OS workers at thinkfairbhp.com.au