LABOUR hire workers at BMA’s Daunia mine in Coppabella have been told they will no longer be needed early next year – just a month after a rollout of autonomous trucks began.

The Daily Mercury understands labour hire workers were told they will be out of work at the site by March 2021, but BMA had committed to work with labour hire companies to help those affected.

This help included offering work at other sites.

A BMA spokesman did not respond to questions about how many labour hire workers would be affected.

But the spokesman said “we will work with labour hire providers to ensure that any affected labour hire workers are given the opportunity to continue to work at a BMA mine”.

A BMA employee at the Daunia mine. Picture: Supplied
A BMA employee at the Daunia mine. Picture: Supplied

He said there would be no job losses as a result of the decision to introduce autonomous haulage at the site.

“Some jobs are changing but there will be no redundancies for BMA employees and no redundancies for OS employees,” the spokesman said.

“Autonomous haulage is creating 150 project-related jobs in Queensland and 56 new roles on site.”

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CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland president Stephen Smyth urged the mining giant to “come clean” on how many jobs it would cut at Daunia.

“Labour hire jobs are important jobs, often performed by workers with years of loyalty to BHP who have never been offered the opportunity for a permanent role,” Mr Smyth said.

“Having replaced many permanent jobs with casual labour hire over the years, it is disgraceful for BHP to now just treat these workers as disposable.”

CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland president Stephen Smyth.
CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland president Stephen Smyth.

He said these workers had families and the same responsibilities as any other mine worker.

“It is important that BHP is honest about all job losses due to automation,” Mr Smyth said.

“Communities have a right to expect good, well-paying jobs from the mines they host and should share in the benefits of automation – not just watch more profits going to shareholders while jobs are cut.”

BHP coal Daunia operations in central Queensland. Picture: BHP coal mining coal mine
BHP coal Daunia operations in central Queensland. Picture: BHP coal mining coal mine

In July, BMA revealed it would invest $100 million in the rollout of Caterpillar driverless vehicles at Daunia mine, starting February next year.

It is the second BMA mine in Central Queensland to receive the technology, with 86 autonomous Komatsu trucks already being rolled out at Goonyella Riverside mine.

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