BHP Iron Ore Drivers reach in-principle agreement and call off industrial action

Mining and Energy Union (MEU)

BHP Iron Ore Drivers have called off industrial action after reaching an in-principle agreement with BHP today.

Mining and Energy Union Western Australian District Secretary, Greg Busson said that bargaining representatives were offered an industry leading agreement and would be withdrawing planned industrial action which was set to commence from Friday 16 February.

Bargaining representatives said the new agreement addresses key concerns of MEU members which include renumeration, rostering, flight allowance and other key conditions including:

  • Increase to base rate and guaranteed 20% pay rise over four years (not attached to performance appraisal)
  • Guarantees around rosters (no employee will be made to work an overtime roster unless agreed)
  • New Rail Allowance locked into the agreement as an ongoing entitlement
  • 2 x $20,000 retention payments
  • Guarantees around flight assistance.

“Members should be incredibly proud of themselves for setting a new industry standard for workers in the Pilbara.

“We believe members have been offered a great deal that reflects the unity and determination members have shown and we encourage all members to vote yes to the proposed agreement.”

Industrial action was set to take place commencing tomorrow. The MEU had notified of a 24-hour stoppage this Friday 16 February and slowdowns of some trains to no greater than 30 kilometres per hour for seven days beginning Saturday, 17 February.

In another great outcome for rail workers, members at Rio Tinto’s rail operations have voted up a new Pilbara Rail Network agreement today.

94% of employees voted and 90% voted in favour of the agreement.

The new agreement provides strong improvements for members including the removal of performance-based pay reviews, guaranteed equitable percentage increases, better processes to resolve workplace issues, and more rights for Delegates.

The gains were made at no expense of other conditions.

“Train drivers in Western Australia are showing what can be achieved when workers get organised and stand together through the Union,” said Mr Busson.

/Public Release.