The Australian Council of Trade Unions has condemned the emerging corporate tactic of applying to terminate Enterprise Bargaining Agreements in order to cut workers’ pay and conditions.

Recent reporting by the ABC shows that Mallesons law firm gave advice on terminating the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement of Port Kembla Coal Terminal employees, who were locked out by management.

The company has applied to the Fair Work Commission to terminate the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement on the grounds it has negotiated in good faith, which is clearly not the case because leaked documents show the company planned to sack a third of workers and replace workers with contractors.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President, Ged Kearney:

“There is a growing number of companies who are using sham negotiations to drastically cut wages and conditions of working people, cancelling the conditions within hard won enterprise agreements, to push workers back onto the award

“While Port Kembla workers and their families have been left to worry about their futures, management has been busily strategising how to get rid of them and to bring in contractors from out of town.

“Clearly, the company has not been negotiating in good faith and its application to the Fair Work Commission for the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement to be terminated is nothing more than a sneaky corporate tactic to strand workers without their legal rights.  

“This is further evidence, not that we needed it, that the country’s industrial relations system has become so weak under this government that big companies are blatantly abusing it at the expense of working people.

“The workers at Port Kembla have the full support of the entire union movement and we stand with workers across the country to fight big business’ dirty attacks.