CQ mine workers crying ‘foul’

WORKERS at central Queensland mines are crying foul because jobs that were recently cut appear to be back on offer.

The catch is they come with lower wages, casual contracts and worse conditions.

Those are the allegations made by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, which claims the BMA-operated Bowen Basin mines are undergoing a significant casualisation of their labour forces.

CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland president Stephen Smyth said workers had been offered a sub-standard new workplace agreement and threatened with replacement if they voted against it.

"BMA is on an intimidation crusade against workers," Mr Smyth said.

Last month's sweeping job cuts affected permanent workers and re-hiring through labour hire companies and contractors had commenced through the website Seek, Mr Smyth said.

"Casual workers have little rights and no job stability," he said.

"These labour hire workers are taking home up to $700 a week less than the hundreds of workers BHP has just sacked."

A BMA spokesperson said the company was continuing to conduct detailed consultation meetings with employees and their representatives.

"In market conditions that continue to be challenging, BMA remains focussed on improving productivity and reducing costs to ensure we are sustainably profitable and continue to provide jobs into the future," the spokesperson said.

Mr Smyth said the "ruthless profit-seeking" would continue to see the casualisation of workforces across central Queensland mines.

Meetings between the CFMEU and BMA are scheduled to continue next week.

"We still have a lot of unanswered questions. We want to know how they plan to mitigate job losses," Mr Smyth said.

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