Workers in Port Kembla fighting for secure jobs

Workers in Port Kembla fighting for secure jobs

 

People working at the Port Kembla Coal Terminal have been negotiating for a new agreement since 2015 and facing termination of their existing agreement since March 2018 – all because they want secure jobs.

Workers have now faced four consecutive lock-outs from management. They have been locked out for total of 59 days by employers who refuse to negotiate a fair deal. Those employers have applied to tear up their own workplace agreement rather than negotiate in good faith.

Union members have agreed to significant changes to the existing EBA – however they are standing firm against attempts by management to replace permanent jobs with insecure contractor roles.

The Australian union movement stands with workers at Port Kembla. Mining should provide good, secure, permanent jobs in the Illawarra and the struggle at the coal terminal is demonstrative of so much that is wrong with our broken industrial relations system.

Workers should not face EBA terminations or lockout – tactics designed to make workers desperate and willing to accept cuts to conditions. The replacement of permanent work with contractors is never acceptable. Workers need more power in negotiations to fight for job security and real pay rises.

Quotes attributable to Sally McManus, ACTU Secretary

“This is the face of the broken system – employers with too much power trying to replace permanent employment with insecure work.

“Employers shouldn’t have the option to apply to terminate an agreement and then deprive families of an income for months. They have too much power and we have to change the rules.

“The union movement stands with all the workers and unions involved in Port Kembla.

“This is why we need to change the rules. This negotiation is so unbalanced, the bosses have so much power, it shouldn’t work like this.