Two major billboards demanding an end to the use of a 100% FIFO workforces in the Bowen Basin have been erected on highways around Mackay.
The billboards - part of the CFMEU’s ‘Let’s spread it Around” campaign – have been installed on the Bruce Highway at Farleigh and the Peak Downs Highway at Nebo.
One sign reads: “100% FIFO for a job in our town? That’s not fair. I want to work where I live”
While the other says: “We want to work where we live. Not 100% FIFO to our own town. BHP must create jobs for locals”.
BHP’s decision to use a 100 per cent FIFO workforce instead of hiring from inside the local Central Queensland community, enraged locals, the unions as well as the wider mining community at large earlier this year.
With two coal mines in Bowen Basin starting production this year, it was widely hoped that BHP would source the 1000 employees needed for the project from the surrounding areas of Moranbah, Dysart, Mackay and Rockhampton.
Instead the miner has opted for a 100% FIFO workforce, with employees flown in from Brisbane and Cairns, a move which means local members of the community have missed out on crucial jobs.
CFMEU Mining Division Queensland president Stephen Smyth said it was outrageous that major miners in the Bowen Basin were refusing to employ local workers.
“The local community was absolutely disgusted earlier this year when BHP announced it would be using a 100 per cent FIFO workforce in its two big Central Queensland mines, robbing local towns of 1000 direct jobs and millions in flow-on economic benefits that this work could have produced,” Smyth said.
“These billboards are about highlighting the fact that multi-national mining companies like BHP are deliberately choosing to ignore the best interests of the Australian communities that they are making their massive profits in.
Smyth said the FIFO billboards were part of a large campaign running around the country that was aiming to ensure Australian jobs were a central focus of the upcoming Federal election campaign.
Smyth told Australian Mining the billboards had been well received by local community members.
“They want miners’ to employ locally,” he said.