Mining Workers Say They Are Getting Less From The Boom

Has the mining boom delivered real benefits to Australia?

Those who build the infrastructure and run the machinery which ensures mountains of ore get shipped believe it hasn’t.

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union says we shouldn’t be arguing about how to fund education, public services and support for the elderly in the middle of a resources boom.

“We need to do better,” says CFMEU Mining and Energy Division General Secretary Andrew Vickers.

“We’ve just experienced an investment boom of the like we’ve never seen before and we’re in the middle of a production boom with many years to go.

“We can’t keep squandering the opportunity to deliver real benefits to Australians from the finite mineral resources that belong to all of us.”

A report, the Australian Resources Boom: Sharing the Benefits by SGS Economics and Planning, says workers’ share of boom revenues has been falling.

Remember the words of mining magnate Gina Rinehart?

“The evidence is inarguable that Australia is becoming too expensive and too uncompetitive to do export-oriented business”

“Africans want to work, and its workers are willing to work for less than $2 per day. Such statistics make me worry for this country’s future.”

The union says returns to the resources companies are extraordinarily high.

This chart compares compensation to employees and gross operating surplus (GOS) between 1990 and 2012. GOS can be defined as gross output less the cost of intermediate goods and services (to give gross value- added), and less compensation of employees, making no allowance for depreciation of capital.

The share going to labour declined to 20 per cent in 2012 from 30 per cent in 1990 while the share going to Gross Operating Surplus increased to 80 per cent from 70 per cent.

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