More than 3000 coalminers have started a week-long strike in Queensland’s Bowen Basin as an 18-month dispute over working conditions rolls on.
The strike began at 6am (AEST) on Thursday and will halt production at six mines run by BHP-Mitsubishi Alliance.
Earlier this year, BMA said the industrial campaign was partly to blame for its declaration that it could not meet its supply contracts.
CFMEU spokesman Stephen Smyth has told AAP the latest strike will involve more than 3500 workers and will bring operations at the mines to a halt.
He says the issue is not pay but working conditions and BMA has failed to significantly better its latest offer, which was roundly rejected by 80 per cent of workers.
Negotiations have dragged on for 18 months and workers have been participating in rolling stoppages since July last year. Sticking points include provisions around workers’ rosters, job security, safety and housing.
A spokeswoman for BMA said the company was focused on finalising an agreement soon.
“Further industrial action will be harmful for all and is unnecessary,” she told AAP.