Call to end industrial action
The industrial action being taken by the Australian Workers’ Union at Alcoa of Australia’s Western Australian operations is not assisting in reaching a new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement and is instead causing unnecessary pain. We thank those employees who have returned to work and encourage others to do the same while we resolve this matter. Our door remains open for constructive negotiations.
We want this matter resolved and to continue our history of providing secure, well-paid jobs.
For 55 years, Alcoa has operated bauxite mines and alumina refineries in WA and aluminium smelters in Victoria.
Last year we invested $1.7 billion with Australian suppliers and paid $655 million in wages and benefits for our 4275 employees. We have one of the most stable workforces in the country — the average length of service for an AWU member at our WA operations is 20 years.
Global operating conditions are increasingly volatile and to be sustainable, we must be unshackled from outdated work practices. This is why we have been trying to negotiate a new, modern EBA for more than 18 months. We have no plans to downsize or casualise our workforce. We just want to be able to manage our business without unreasonable restrictions.
The AWU wants guarantees employees can never be forcibly made redundant. This is not a reasonable expectation.
We want to negotiate a fair agreement, but need other options to address an outdated, expired EBA. That is why we applied to the Fair Work Commission to terminate the agreement. If it is terminated, we will maintain current pay and key conditions for six months to protect employees from further financial impact while we seek to finalise a new EBA.
Sincere thanks to employees who are maintaining safe operations during this difficult time.
We look forward to resolving this matter so we can return our focus to providing secure, wellpaid jobs for future generations. Michael Parker, managing director, Alcoa of Australia