BMA slashes 400 contractors from operations

The contractors were employed through Macmahon and HMP Constructions to do pre-stripping work at BMA’s Goonyella Riverside and Norwich Park mines. Moranbah area Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union district vice-president Steve Pierce told CIN’S sister site International Longwall News the bulk of the contractors affected were working at the Goonyella operation.Pierce said the union’s senior management was attempting to contact both the contractor companies to see whether some of the workers could find employment elsewhere within the operations. “But other than that, our senior people in the Brisbane office are attempting to talk to BMA about where it is all going to end,” he said.BHP spokesperson did not specify the number of job cuts.On whether most of the jobs lost were at Goonyella, the spokesperson said the company had not broken down the figures.The spokesperson said the job losses were up to the contracting companies and that BHP might have stopped working with the companies on particular contracts. BHP normally operates by matching the level of contractors with the amount of activity in an operation, and the company had announced it would be producing less metallurgical coal. The spokesperson confirmed the job losses were outside of BHP’s plans to lay off 1100 coal workers by June, announced in January.Pierce said this year’s job cuts to the coal sector as related to changes in industrial relations laws under the Rudd government. “These are about companies. No matter whether it’s BHP, Anglo or Xstrata, some of them are about a reorganisation of business because of the cooling in the coal market. “Some of the other cutbacks we have seen are, in our view, nothing other than propping up obscene levels of profit.”Pierce added a considerable number of the contractors who lost their jobs had been made redundant in their previous jobs because of other cuts in the sector before Christmas. He said some of the laid-off workers were devastated as they had moved to mining towns to raise their families.

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