Bechtel went to the Federal Court of Australia late yesterday asking for an injunction against workers striking over rostering and conditions at the Curtis Island QCLNG plant near Gladstone.
According to the Gladstone Observer, the company has offered workers, “Back pay, a $35 ferry allowance, a 15% pay rise, daily productivity pay, a daily travel allowance of $45 increasing to $50 in November and a $10 a day attendance allowance rising to $30 in November, “if the strikers return to work immediately.
The deal-sweeteners mean workers would receive an extra $100 per day on average.
However the CFMEU has told the Gladstone Observer, “… the negotiations were about work/life balance, not money.”
The striking workers’ key demand is that Bechtel, the company managing the project, introduce 3/1 rosters for the duration of the project. The current agreement only introduces a 3/1 roster in the second half of the third year of the project.
The CFMEU is also demanding that productivity payments be brought forward to November of this year, six months earlier than the May 2015 date stipulated in the original agreement.
On Monday th estriking workers, who were not protected by industrial action laws, were ordered back to work by the Fair Work Commission, however they failed to comply to the order.
Bechtel Gladstone general manager Kevin Berg said voting had begun following more than 10 months of negotiations with the employees’ bargaining representatives.
“These bargaining agents have been the CFMEU, CEPU, AMWU, AWU and one individual employee representing himself in the negotiations,” he said.
“To say we haven’t been at the negotiation table or listening to our employees through this process is pure fantasy.
“We’ve been negotiating for more almost a year in an effort to come to an agreement that is feasible and fair to both our employees and these projects.”
CFMEU assistant state secretary Jade Ingham said the fact workers wouldn’t stop protesting showed how serious they were.
“Our members have had a gutful of being stood over,” he said.
“This is pretty much the only thing the worker has – his or her labour – and it’s a fundamental right to exercise that and take away their labour.
“These guys are extremely passionate about the cause.”
Source: Gladstone Observer