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Unions from five countries meet in Chile to campaign for BHP workers’ rights

23 September, 2019Leaders of IndustriALL Global Union’s BHP network will gather in Santiago, Chile, on 23 - 24 September as part of a worldwide campaign to improve worker rights and to call for an end to the outsourcing of jobs at the mining giant.

IndustriALL Global Union is bringing together trade unions from Chile, Australia, Brazil, Colombia and Peru to strengthen union action and to call on BHP, one of the world’s biggest mining companies, to end to bad corporate behaviour at the expense of workers.

BHP is pushing a strategy to drive down wages and employment conditions in the mining industry, including replacing thousands of permanent jobs with casual labour hire.

Around the world, there are abundant examples of workers under pressure as BHP ruthlessly prioritizes profits at the expense of workers and communities.

  • The National Coordination of BHP Biliton in Chile Chile (La Coordinadora Nacional de Sindicatos de BHP Billiton en Chile) says BHP refuses to engage in meaningful negotiations on issues as the pressure of excessive workloads, working hours in excess of those set down by law, lack of transparency in calculating bonuses and the right to pensions and sick leave.
  • In Colombia, BHP uses contract labour to bring down wages and working conditions, and imposes high production targets which puts pressure on workers and leads to an increase in the number of accidents
  • In Australia, BHP has created an in-house labour hire workforce through a subsidiary, Operations Services, providing a supply of cheaper workers on non-union contracts, earning 40 per cent less and with worse conditions than the BHP workers next to them.

IndustriALL assistant general secretary Kemal Özkan says:

“We are uniting workers in the struggle for decent work and to call on BHP to stop contracting out jobs in its operations.

“Through our global campaign, we fight back for safer and fairer labour practices at the worldwide operations of BHP.”