BHP and BHP Iron Ore Drivers have reached an in-principle agreement, bringing an end to planned industrial action. 

Mining and Energy Union (MEU) 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 that the new agreement addresses key concerns of MEU members which include remuneration, rostering, flight allowance and other key conditions including: 

  • Increase to base rate and guaranteed 20 per cent 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 
  • Two $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,” Mr Busson said. 

“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 Friday, 16 February. The MEU had notified of a 24-hour stoppage and slowdowns of some trains to no greater than 30km per hour for seven days beginning Saturday 17 February.

Additionally, members at Rio Tinto’s rail operations have voted up a new Pilbara Rail Network agreement. 94 per cent of employees voted and 90 per cent 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,” Mr Busson said.

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