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BHP Coal Workers to Vote on Labor Pact as Negotiations Conclude

Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) -- BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest exporter of coal used in steelmaking, said workers at its mines in the Australian state of Queensland will vote on a labor pact next month after talks with unions concluded.

“It is expected that the process of communicating the outcomes to employees and the conducting of a ballot will be completed by the end of October,” Antonios Papaspiropoulos, a spokesman with BHP in Melbourne, said in an e-mailed statement today. “This follows the conclusion of negotiations and mediation by the parties.”

The BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance, known as BMA, and worker unions agreed in July on a framework to help guide the completion of an enterprise pact. About 3,000 miners at seven operations in Queensland stopped work for a week in March and have held further strikes since industrial action started in June last year.

The BMA joint venture supplies about 18 percent of global coking coal exports, according to a March 22 report by Goldman Sachs Australia Pty.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Sharples in Melbourne at bsharples@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Tighe at ptighe@bloomberg.net

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