Fly-in, fly-out contractors will no longer be paid for their time travelling to and from remote BHP operations in WA.
One subcontractor said the changes put them up to $800 a month out of pocket, at a time when the mining giant’s iron ore price continues to soar.
Australian Manufacturing Workers Union State Secretary Steve McCartney said workers flying to the Pilbara had previously been able to claim up to four hours each way from the time they arrived at the airport to the time they got to their room — which included the two-hour flight, delays and travel time from the airport to the work camp.
He said workers driving to site during working hours got normal pay while they travelled, and time and a half if the drive went over working hours.
A BHP spokesman said the company regularly benchmarked its arrangements with labour-contracting partners against a range of factors, including role, roster and aspects of the work environment.
“There has been no recent change to the way we negotiate and benchmark those arrangements,” the spokesman said.
“How labour contracting companies manage the salary, wages and other expenses of their employees within the scope of the negotiated BHP charge rate is a matter for those contracting companies.”
A employee of labour hire contracting company Chandler MacLeod said workers contracted to work on a BHP operation in Port Hedland were told about two months ago of the change.
He said the change prevented him from claiming more than two hours of travel both to and from site. The worker estimated this would cost about $800 a month.
It is understood BHP Minerals Australia made the decision to exclude travel time payments in labour hire contracts in July 2017 in line with other employers.
BHP had a full-year profit last year of $US3.7 billion. Its WA iron ore division had $US14.8 billion revenue for underlying earnings of $US8.9 billion.
Source: The West Australian, 13 April 2019