Call to end in­dus­trial ac­tion

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - NEWS -

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

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