Class action to be launched over casuals in Australia’s coal mining

Close-up of BHP’s Mount Arthur coal mine. Photo by Lock the Gate Alliance, Flickr – CC BY 2.0.

On Monday, Adero Law is planning to launch a class action that involves some 400 people and that is led by a former worker at BHP Billiton’s (ASX, NYSE:BHP) Mount Arthur coal mine.

According to the Fairfax Media, the workers allege they were left $40 million worse off because they were hired as casuals and not as permanent staff, despite their rosters being published weeks in advance. They also say that they were in charge of the same tasks permanent workers had to perform and that they were not eligible for benefits such as paid sick leave.

The workers complain about being paid less than 15 years ago, despite the fact that more mines in Australia are casual-driven these days.

Fairfax reports that two separate proceedings make up the class action and that two BHP companies, Mt Arthur Coal Pty Ltd and Hunter Valley Energy Coal Pty Ltd, will be sued. The latter, which is part of the BHP group, owns the mine while Mt Arthur Coal operates its namesake deposit.

The firms Chandler Macleod and TESA, which were in charge of recruiting the workers, will also be sued.

Both BHP and Chandler Macleod told the news company that they have not received any formal communications regarding the legal actions.

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