BHP has welcomed a Fair Work Commission ruling on its hiring practices, with the independent body approving the company's Operations Services (OS) Enterprise Agreements.
The mining giant came under fire from the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), who launched a nation-wide advertising campaign, Cheap move from the Big Australian, in September to vent its criticism of the "in-house labour hire subsidiary".
The CFMEU called the company for "dishonesty" by offering "BHP jobs" to employees through shelf companies established for a dollar in 2018.
It also claimed workers hired at the sites, including Muswellbrook's Mt Arthur Coal - by Operations Services - wore BHP uniforms, performed the same tasks as their BHP employees, but were paid 40 per cent less.
They also missed out on important working conditions like accident pay, according to the CFMEU, and could be transferred to any site in Australia at the company's discretion.
Despite the widespread condemnation from the union, BHP maintained its stance.
And, its position was justified, with the Fair Work Commission recently handing down its judgement on the contracts, endorsing both of them, which cover production and maintenance roles.
"We are pleased by the [commission's] decisions to approve the two Operations Services Enterprise Agreements," a BHP spokesperson said.
"OS employees will continue to benefit from the terms and conditions set out in their contracts of employment with the added benefit of a higher safety net of terms and conditions than what would otherwise apply in the relevant industry awards.
"However, our focus is not on this decision.
"It is on finding and then developing our great people who are delivering real results through their permanent employment with Operations Services.
"OS has already delivered stability to our workforces around the country, with more than 1500 people now enjoying the security of permanent employment after joining the organisation.
"It also provides certainty and sustainability for BHP's operations.
"Operations Services is delivering stability and sustainability that's good for our people, good for the communities where we work and good for BHP as a whole."
CFMEU Mining and Energy general president Tony Maher said the approval of the agreements by the commission showed that workplace laws were stacked against working people.
"It's disgraceful that mining giants like BHP are simply able to sidestep existing union-negotiated agreements and introduce new non-union agreements to cut pay and conditions," he stated.
"Shame on the Big Australian for treating its workforce like mugs.
"They say Operations Services employees 'are' BHP and give them a BHP shirt, but people know when they are being treated like second-class citizens.
"We know that Operations Services workers are voting with their feet and turnover is high.
"This arrogant approach will come back to bite BHP."
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