CFMEU announced today that new employment contracts, developed in secret by the giant coal multinational BHP, are expected to drive down wages in Queensland`s coal industry. Not only do the agreements pay about $30,000 less per year than BHP`s current agreements for the Bowen Basin coal mines, but they also allow workers to be transferred to one of the company`s coal or metal mines in Australia at any time. They do not offer compensation for accidents and make workers less well off when it comes to leave and layoffs. Queensland`s construction union has reached a pioneering agreement to cut weekend work and increase wages and overtime as part of an agreement to comply with the Turnbull government`s new building code. Although the agreement commits to raising wages by 2021, the agreement expires in early 2019 in time for new elections and the possible removal of the code. The government`s construction code came into force in September last year to use the weight of community infrastructure funding to water down the CFMEU`s influence on enterprise agreements and the field. The Union has very different relations with business, particularly in the `EU EBA sector` (which is not clearly defined by the EU or current market forces), without a collective enterprise agreement (EBA) currently being signed. Under no circumstances should a contractor sign an EBA with the CFMEU without seeking outside advice beforehand. If there is contact with a union official, it is strongly recommended that you get advice from an industry specialist. The agreement focuses on employers first abolishing Saturday working hours from normal hours, reducing the traditional six-day week to a five-day 50-hour week with a time of 58 hours. The CFMEU questions the validity of two new enterprise agreements submitted to the Fair Work Commission, involving the $1 shelf companies, who are wholly owned by BHP. Over time, BHP plans to change its coal workers in central Queensland from existing settlement agreements negotiated by unions and move to operating services agreements that pay about $30,000 less a year, said Stephen Smyth, president of CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland. In Queensland, the EU is seeking significantly higher wages and conditions than the Modern Prize through collective bargaining with senior contractors and leading subcontractors who engage in collective agreements for businesses (EBA).
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