In­pex work­ers’ wage con­cerns

Hun­dreds may lose wages af­ter Carl De­laney’s death

Sunday Territorian - - FRONT PAGE - PHILLIPPA BUTT

ABOUT 400 In­pex work­ers are still un­sure if they will be paid for Thurs­day, de­spite con­struc­tion on the $50 bil­lion site of­fi­cially be­ing stopped af­ter co-worker Carl De­laney died the night be­fore.

Work­ers from MAS, a sub­sidiary com­pany of AusGroup and a sub­con­trac­tor on the site, were yes­ter­day told they would still need to ap­ply for an­nual leave if they wanted to be paid for Thurs­day.

The wage con­cerns comes as many In­pex work­ers held a minute’s si­lence for Mr De­laney be­fore a rally near the project site over pay and con­di­tions for in­ter­state work­ers.

ABOUT 400 In­pex work­ers are still un­sure if they will be paid for Thurs­day, de­spite con­struc­tion on the $50 bil­lion site of­fi­cially be­ing stopped af­ter a co-worker died the night be­fore.

Work­ers from MAS, a sub­sidiary com­pany of AusGroup and a sub­con­trac­tor on the site pro­vid­ing rope ac­cess, were yes­ter­day told they would still need to ap­ply for an­nual leave if they wanted to be paid for Thurs­day. In­pex work­ers were called into brief­ings when they ar­rived at the project site on Thurs­day morn­ing, to be told of the death of Carl De­laney while he was on the night shift on Wed­nes­day night.

They were then told they had the op­tion to take the day off, but would have to ap­ply for leave or go un­paid.

How­ever, af­ter con­fu­sion over whether the site had of­fi­cially been shut down, In­pex put out a state­ment on Fri­day, say­ing it had. “Work was sus­pended (Thurs­day) out of re­spect for the worker and his col­leagues, and to al­low on­site in­ves­ti­ga­tions to be con­ducted,” the state­ment said.

“No worker suf­fered a loss of in­come due to the sus­pen- sion of work on the con­struc­tion site yes­ter­day.”

In­pex con­firmed this state­ment again on Fri­day.

How­ever, MAS work­ers say they are still be­ing told they may lose a day’s pay, if they don’t ap­ply for leave.

One MAS worker, who asked not to be named, said they had also been re­quired to only work a half-day on Fri­day, but were stuck at the con­struc­tion site as no buses ar­rived to take them back to the vil­lage.

“MAS have told us that we won’t get paid un­til we put in an an­nual leave form,” a worker said. “Ev­ery­one is shaken by this and want some as­sur­ances on safety. There are 400 of us af­fected. On Fri­day we had to wait around for buses to take us from the site for four hours, even though it was sup­posed to be a soft work­day.”

Elec­tri­cal Trades Union NT or­gan­iser David Hayes said the unions would have fur­ther dis­cus­sion with man­age­ment to “en­sure a con­sis­tent ap­proach” across the project.

“An­nual and per­sonal leave doesn’t come into the equa­tion when the site is shut for a safety is­sue,” he said.

MAS was con­tacted for com­ment.

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