New Al­coa EBA gets short shrift

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - FRONT PAGE - Stu­art Hor­ton

Aus­tralian Work­ers’ Union mem­bers em­ployed at Al­coa’s WA op­er­a­tions have voted against a re­vised En­ter­prise Bar­gain­ing Agree­ment.

The EBA specif­i­cally ad­dressed job se­cu­rity con­cerns put to Al­coa by the AWU and in­cluded a com­mit­ment from the em­ployer not to make em­ploy­ees forcibly re­dun­dant by out­sourc­ing work or re­plac­ing them with limited-term or ca­sual em­ploy­ees.

An Al­coa spokes­woman said it re­mained un­clear why the AWU lead­er­ship did not en­dorse the agree­ment and said it would assess its next steps to achieve a new EBA.

“The EBA also of­fered in­come growth on top of ex­ist­ing com­pet­i­tive pay and con­di­tions, in­clud­ing a 14 per cent su­per­an­nu­a­tion con- tri­b­u­tion and in­come pro­tec­tion for up to two years in the event of ex­tended ill­ness,” she said.

“It main­tained many of the pro­vi­sions we know our em­ploy­ees value, in­clud­ing a 36-hour work week and the op­por­tu­nity to earn ex­tra in­come through over­time.”

AWU WA branch pres­i­dent Andy Hack­ing said the ma­jor stick­ing point for mem­bers, of whom 61 per cent voted against the EBA, was the nom­i­nal term in the agree­ment, which would see mem­bers lose con­di­tions in the agree­ment once it had ex­pired.

“Mem­bers viewed that as not good enough. We’re try­ing to get ne­go­ti­a­tions go­ing again to get closer in the word­ing, but we won’t have a po­si­tion go­ing for­ward un­til the meet­ings hap­pen,” he said.

Mr Hack­ing said a re­turn to in­dus­trial ac­tion was un­likely.

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