BHP drops compo claim against CFMEU after IR dispute ends

THE $2.4 million compensation claim from six coal mines against the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union has been dropped by BHP Billiton just days after the end of a two-year industrial dispute.

This week the mining giant withdrew its allegations against union members it had previously accused of acting illegally in December 2011.

The legal action was launched at the height of an industrial relations battle between the union and BHP over an enterprise agreement.

A deal was backed by workers on October 22 and approved by Fair Work Australia on October 26.

The action from BHP against the union was dropped on October 29.

BHP Billiton had pushed for the funds as reimbursement for what it believed was an inappropriate shutdown of its Central Queensland coal mines in 2010 by union workers.

Since first lodging the claim, both BHP and the union had worked, often behind the scenes, to solve the issue which resulted in BHP ending its Federal Court claim.

If not resolved, each side was due to return to court on Thursday.

Neither BHP Billiton nor the CFMEU would discuss the court case but each had previously told APN they were committed to working towards an amicable solution.