Tony Abbott’s planned visit to the official opening of BHP Billiton’s US$3.4 billion Caval Ridge mine in the Bowen Basin has sparked a heated reaction from Queensland miners, who urged the Prime Minister to stand up for local jobs following the sacking of 700 full-time workers from BHP’s coal mines in the region just a few weeks ago.
CFMEU Mining and Energy District President Stephen Smyth urged the Prime Minister to demand explanation from BHP about their decision to prevent locals from applying for jobs at the Caval Ridge mine, despite its proximity to the town of Moranbah.
“Prime Minister Abbott should use his trip to Moranbah to pull BHP into line on jobs. BHP insists all employees must live in Brisbane or Cairns to work at Caval Ridge, denying mineworkers real choice about their work and living arrangements. They are locking locals out of work opportunities at a time of great need for jobs,” Mr Smyth said.
He said BHP was simultaneously cutting permanent jobs in its Bowen Basin mines and was advertising for labour hire positions in the same mines.
“Labour hire is no substitute for permanent, secure employment. We are finding permanent jobs replaced by labour hire positions on far lower pay without job security. Mr Abbott has an obligation to the people of Queensland to stand up for their interests in the face of powerful mining companies like BHP,” Mr Smyth said.
“We hope he takes the time to find out what’s really going on in the Bowen Basin and pull BHP into line. He must insist BHP prioritise permanent, secure jobs and stop locking local workers out of job opportunities.”
Australian resources, Caval Ridge Mine, Queensland miners, CFMEU, BHP Billiton, permanent jobs, labour hire positions