ACTU Investment Forum 2011 17 June 2011. Managing the Resources Boom. Andrew Vickers General Secretary CFMEU Mining & Energy. Overview. The scale of the boom – a quick recap Profitability Labour demand forecasts The massive turnover problem The Resource Curse?
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ABARES (2011) Minerals and Energy – Major development projects April 2011 listing
Long hours, FIFO and social isolation produce high turnover
The Australia Institute (2011): How many jobs is 23,510 really?
High labour turnover in mining may mean that some workers flow back to other industries
But the high A$ is decimating the non-mining export industries – manufacturing, tourism
Significant evidence that flow-on benefits from mining construction are mostly off-shore
we’re better off than the EU or the USA, but we need sustainable long term benefits from mining eg via a SWF
Importing large numbers of temporary migrant workers for resources construction is not a quick fix
The Enterprise Migration Agreements for mega projects ($2 billion +) will probably be abused
A current trickle of cases of illegal underpayment of wages, sub-standard conditions and OHS problems
Will become a flood? Catastrophic incidents? Major litigation, project cost blowouts and insolvency?
Acceleration in ABARES major project listing shows that MRRT and CPRS Mark II are minor imposts on the industry
We think the original RSPT was better but the MRRT is a start on better community returns from a high profit industry
The CPRS Mk II will barely affect most resources. Aluminium, steel and certain gassy coal mines need assistance and should get it.
We aren’t really managing the resources boom
It helped saved us from the GFC but, in the absence of a strong MRRT and SWF we aren’t managing mining wealth for the long term
High labour turnover is the result of extreme rosters, social isolation and heavy-handed management unrestrained by any workforce collective voice (outside of coal mining)
Large scale importation of temporary workers is probably an impending train wreck.
We should take the Resource Curse threat seriously