Union investigates ‘bullying’
Transport Workers Union representative Mick Connolly wants action to be taken regarding a number of alleged bullying incidents that took place on the Karratha Health Campus and waste water pump station work sites.
Mr Connolly is speaking out on behalf of Jo-Ann Williams, who approached the union with claims she was abused and bullied at the sites by a Downer EDI contractor.
“Jo-Ann (was used) as a source of humour to boost (that person) up; regularly making remarks about her, to her and at her,” Mr Connolly said.
Mr Connolly has written letters of complaint to several parties involved in the projects and said he has not yet seen any satisfactory results.
“I spoke to Downers, who suggested they had done an internal investigation and were satisfied with the outcome, but the outcome did nothing at that point to provide any protection to Jo-Ann,” he said.
Mr Connolly even approached Pilbara MLA Brendon Grylls who told him he does not have the power or authority to intervene in the alleged worksite bullying.
“How can somebody who oversees local government projects and infrastructure in the region that he’s responsible for simply say ‘Well yes they’re contracted to us but if they’re doing the wrong thing, we don’t have the authority to step in and correct that action’,” Mr Connolly said.
Mr Grylls responded saying that while he found it appropriate to contact him regarding the matter, it needed to be taken through the appropriate channels.
“I appreciate (Mr Connolly) raising my awareness of that so that I know about it; that is appropriate, but I don’t take formal complaints about bullying; that’s outside of my scope and jurisdiction.”
Mr Connolly has also reached out to WorkSafe on Ms Williams’ behalf and said he was told it was not their role to mediate with the parties involved in the matter.
A spokesperson from WorkSafe stated that although this was true it was their “role to ensure that an employer has adequate procedures in place to deal with issues such as bullying in their workplace” and that they could not accept bullying complaints from a third party.
Ms Williams is in the process of lodging a complaint with WorkSafe.
Downer EDI and Landcorp did not respond to these claims by time of print.
The alleged bullying incidents happened on the Karratha Health Campus and waste water pump sites.