25 May, 2012 01:36

25.05.12

Letter to the Editor

Re: State pressures striking BowenBasin miners:

Perhaps his inexperience as a State politician has led to Premier Newman’s silly remarks on the dispute taking place between BMA (BHP Billiton/Mitsubishi Alliance) in the BowenBasin and its employees. Yes, the situation is costing the State revenue which is precisely why the Premier should be advocating that the multinational company settle the EBA negotiations quickly and meet their employees at least at a half way point, and negotiate in good faith.

The Premier should remember that BMA do not get a vote, but the 3,500 miners do, and will remember the Premiers failure to support his own citizens in obtaining fair working conditions. Mr. Newman is frightened that the multinational company will simply move their operations to Mongolia; this is a very naïve and short sighted view of the situation. In fact even if (it is not a likely scenario) the company did move to Mongolia it would have to return to the Bowen Basin when the Mongolian deposits were exhausted, making our coal even more valuable than it is today, a situation that I am sure that BMA is very aware of.

This dispute concerns working conditions, not wages, and the conditions sought are reasonable. The Premier should be standing behind his own citizens and blasting BMA if he wants to see an early resolution as negotiations have already dragged on for 18 months. Workplace law demands both sides bargain in good faith, perhaps the time has arrived for the Industrial Relations Minister to become involved to move this recalcitrant multinational into the 21st century reality that Australian workers demand to be treated like human beings, not slaves.

Regards,

Shaun Newman

13 Laura Court

Deeragun, Townsville

North Queensland, 4818

Ph: 0747516184

Email – sne35565

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