3 May 2019

Railcorp is a labour hire company that provides train drivers to the Roy Hill mine. It employs just over 50 train drivers through a subsidiary company. Just before negotiations for a new EBA were due to begin, they created a new subsidiary and used it to hire two new drivers, who then voted for a non-union EBA. The other 50 workers were transferred across, denied their right to bargain for an agreement. The Fair Work Commission said: “ultimately the position of those employees would not appear relevant to the approval requirements imposed by the Act… albeit the notion of them becoming employees was clearly contemplated.” This corporate structure shell game is becoming widespread in certain industries. BHP has created its own labour hire company, secretly made a non-union EBA with nine employees, and now intends to transfer hundreds of workers at mines around the country onto that EBA. The AFR reports [$] this is the result of “eighteen months of hard thinking” by BHP managers, will cut wages by up to $55,000 for a typical roster, and will allow BHP to unilaterally move workers around the country. This loophole in our bargaining system must be shut down.