The Guardian August 30, 2000

We've had the pain! Let's share the gain!

In the last two years, 2,148 miners at BHP's coal mining operations have 
lost their jobs. During the same period BHP's coal operations made a profit 
of $1,869 million. Mineworkers have had enough. Last week they served 
claims for a "Fair Go". The message to BHP was: "We've had the pain! Let's 
share the gain!".

Rank and file workers at BHP's 13 coal operations throughout Queensland and 
NSW have endorsed a common log of claims.

The 13 individual operations will also include their own local claims in 
enterprise agreement negotiations.

At present, six BHP operations are locked in enterprise agreement 
negotiations  Crinum, Gregory and Hay Point in Queensland; and Appin, 
Tower and Cordeaux in NSW.

With BHP refusing to seriously address the issues, the six operations 
served notice of industrial action in support of their claims.

They commenced a 48-hour strike at five of the mines on Monday this week 
(Gregory is still working because of a Commission order), and are still out 
as The Guardian goes to press.

The mineworkers, members of the CFMEU, are demanding:

* a 15 per cent wage increase over two years;
* increased employer superannuation contributions;
* minimum rates of pay for contractors;
* additional payment for GST impact;
* common expiry date for all BHP coal certified agreements.

During the past two years productivity has skyrocketed, up a staggering 54 
per cent per person. As a result profits have soared but workers have not 
had their share of the increase in productivity.

Instead, mineworkers and their communities have been "rewarded" with 
massive job losses.

Now they are telling BHP: "Enough is enough", "Miners want a fair go".

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