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CFMEU questions BHP about dust disease at AGM

dust disease

CFMEU: IndustriALL Global Union and affiliates representing BHP workers in Australia, Brazil, Canada and Colombia have questioned BHP regarding its’ “unsustainable and dangerous business model” at an annual general meeting in London on 17 October, 2018. Treatment of dust disease victims has been a key  agenda item for the CFMEU over the last several years with the recognition that Coal Worker’s pneumoconiosis (CWP) or black lung was a real issue facing many in the industry.

CFMEU Queensland District Secretary Steve Smyth and Northern District Vice President Jeff Drayton both asked questions about BHP’s use of contract labour and their lack of regard for worker’s suffering with mine dust diseases at the BHP shareholder’s meeting.

IndustriALL’s assistant general secretary, Kemal Özkan also questioned the world’s biggest mining company’s over its claims of sustainability, which he argued is not just about economic performance but also the environment, society and labour.

BHP Chairman Ken McKenzie told the meeting “Our first priority, as always, is safety. Our commitment is steadfast. It isn’t about the numbers. It’s about people, our co-workers, our contractors and their families. And sadly, two of colleagues died at work last year. Daniel Springer at the Goonyella Riverside Mine in Australia and another colleague at our Permiam Basin operations in the United States. I offer my heartfelt condolences to their families, their friends and their colleagues.

He added “It is critical we learn as much as we can from these tradgedies and as part of our relentless focus on safety, Andrew and his team have taken further steps to strengthen the safety culture across the company. We must do everything possible to ensure that all our people return safely home at the end of their day, every day.”

Andrew Mackenzie added in his address to shareholders  “I believe BHP will become fatality- free and our team is totally committed to make this a reality.”

Image: CFMEU

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AMSJ April 2022