Secretary's Report: 3 July 2008 ...This is how the story goes
Working at a BHP coal mine in Queensland under union conditions, on a ten hour overtime shift I am on around forty four bucks an hour plus coal bonus and height and dirt money, I expect to get around five hundred bucks for the shift, working as a rigger variously on an oxy acetylene torch and driving the crane, doing demolition on night shift, preparing the coal wash plant for an upgrade.
I was working with an experienced boilermaker who had spent at least twenty years in the industry, I arrive on the site at the start of night shift, the pay clerk who was just knocking off gave me my pay slip for the previous week.
Later in the shift the guy I was working with asked for a look at my pay slip, I gave it to him and when he read it he started crying, his tears washed the coal dust from his face, I said, …what’s up Mate, and he broke down and told me a contractor had rang him about this job, he declined on the grounds that he was only gonna pay eighteen dollars hours an hour, flat rate no overtime rate, no coal bonus no height money, no nuthin’.
The contractor then rang his missus and told her there was a job if he wanted it, where upon she presented him with the ultimatum of going to work or moving out, so on union rates on that shift I got around three hundred and twenty dollars more than him.
I gave him my undertaking that I would be sponsoring a union motion that all trade union people at all BHP coal mining operations, thence all BHP hard rock mining and on shore facilities, cease work until this pay claim which has existed since 1995, and all other similar pay claims are met.
30 June 2008: This union proposes that the Australian workforce drop their tools and walk off the job on strike, in protest at the lack of police and government action in relation to killings in both the Queensland and Victorian Branches of the Painters and Dockers Union, then the thuggery and the scabbery on BLF sites, and in the mining and construction sectors.
Scabs at Gove an alumina mine in Northern Australia…2005 I was union delegate and the scabs were smoking in the trucks we used on site, I told them they were in breach of union conditions, a man had to go home sick due to the tobacco smoke in the twin cab, a black boy name Jim Mow spits a big gob full of slag, as I got out of my truck, he was in the back seat of another twin cab I hop in and smash my fist into his black face and then give this black boy the whoppin’ of his life.
The government needs to get a handle on the scabbing, the thuggery, the murder and the violence, and then we will go back to work.