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BHP Australia iron-ore rail workers approve industrial action plans - ballot results

27th October 2023

By: Reuters

  

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SYDNEY - Nearly 350 BHP iron-ore rail workers in Australia, including train drivers, have approved industrial action plans that could include work stoppages of up to 24 hours due to disputes over pay and conditions, voting results showed.

The work stoppages could impact its operations at the world's largest iron ore export hub at Port Hedland.

BHP's iron ore operations in Western Australia state's Pilbara region include four processing hubs and five mines, connected by more than 1 000 km of rail infrastructure and port facilities.

A BHP spokesperson said it had made "good progress" in recent months on matters raised by the Mining and Energy Union as part of the process of finalising a new agreement and further meetings were scheduled for next week.

"This will be the most effective way to conclude our good faith bargaining and finalise the agreement, so it can be voted on by employees in December," the spokesperson added.

The Mining and Energy Union did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment.

Australia's industrial arbitrator, the Fair Work Commission, on Wednesday published the results of a "protected action ballot" that gives employees the chance to secretly vote on whether or not to initiate protected industrial action.

Industrial action in Australia, including strikes or work stoppages, must be approved by the Fair Work Commission before going to members for a vote.

The union can decide whether to go ahead with any industrial action after a successful ballot. Employers are given notice beforehand.

Edited by Reuters

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