BHP Stock – BHP : beer ban for iron ore workers infringes rights, union says
MELBOURNE, May 21 (Reuters) – BHP Group’s new
alcohol policy barring workers on mine sites in Western
Australia from consuming alcohol after 9:30 p.m. impinges on
workers’ rights, a mine workers’ union said.
In a letter this week, the Western Mine Workers’ Alliance
(WMWA) told BHP the policies fuelled concern over employees’
basic rights to privacy and enjoyment in non-working hours, and
added that the miner had not adequately consulted employees.
“If there are issues with some staff, they need to be
managed, rather than penalising all the rest of the workers,”
Shane Roulstone of the Australian Workers Union told Reuters.
“We just want to be treated like adults.”
BHP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The mining giant introduced a policy in January to limit
workers’ daily consumption to six mid-strength beers, while
giving management the power to search personal property,
Further curbs set to take effect from July 1 bar on-site
drinking areas from serving alcohol after 9:30 p.m. and workers
from consuming the beverage in their quarters, he added.
That meant that support staff, such as cooks, who finish
work after the deadline will be denied a drink after work,
Workers in mining villages are typically provided with small
bar fridges in their rooms that stock at most four beers.
“Most people would say, that’s enough, but you’re working
long days at high temperatures of 40 degrees to 45 degrees, and
12-hour shifts,” Roulstone added.
For those who fly in to remote mine sites to work for two
weeks at a time, the new rules unfairly limit drinking on nights
off during transitions between day and night shifts, he said.
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)