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Australian coking coal producer BMA, unions agree to mediation talks

BHP Billiton-Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) and unions representing employees at the company’s central Queensland export coking coal mines started talks and is being mediated by the Australian government in an effort to settle an intractable labor dispute.  Unions taking part in the talks, which are set to continue this week, have agreed to refrain from taking any industrial action during the mediation process that is for an open-ended period.  Bill Shorten, the Australian government’s employment and workplace relations minister, is understood to have played an instrumental role in getting BMA and the unions to return to the negotiating table.  Read MORE.

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