BHP Billiton coal mine goes on a two-week strike

Supervisors at a BHP Billiton's (LON, ASX:BHP) subsidiary Illawarra Coal in the Australian state of New South Wales have voted to strike for up to two weeks over a pay dispute, Illawarra Mercury reports.

About 50 superintendents at the Appin mine are demanding a wage increase of 18% and have decided to walk off the job starting Friday Nov. 16.

The workers’ decision comes at a time of frail coal prices, lay-offs and mine closures by most major Australian coal miners.

The BHP-Mitsubishi Alliance, or BMA, has closed the Gregory and Norwich Park coking coal mines in the Australian state of Queensland in recent months.

Illawarra Coal’s Appin mine employs about 400 people and produces premium-quality coking coal for export.

Rio Tinto

Meanwhile 30 miners at Rio Tinto's (LON:RIO) Blair Athol coal mine are ready to go on strike on Tuesday.

Late last month the Australian Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) announced that workers would carry out industrial action after it claimed that the mine's redundancy package discriminated against union members.

Now mining unions are trying to finalise a new enterprise agreement for their members at the mine, as they believe under current conditions unionised workers will receive less than those on individual agreements.

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