Published: 21 Dec 2018
Workers at Port Kembla Coal Terminal (PKCT) have walked off the job overnight in a fight to protect permanent employees from being replaced by casual contractors.
PKCT have been stalling in negotiations for a new Enterprise Agreement to cover the workforce, with negotiations running for nearly four years, said CFMEU Mining and Energy South-West Vice President Bob Timbs.
The key sticking point is the company’s insistence on removing a clause that would protect current permanent workers being replaced by casual contractors.
“There is an epidemic of casualisation across the coal mining industry and the wider workforce,” said Mr Timbs.
“Unless workers are protected, we see time and again that employers will outsource their jobs to labour hire contractors offering casual work with substandard pay and conditions.
“Workers everywhere are seeing their hard-won conditions under attack by employers, with the constant threat of being replaced by a contract workforce.
“Workers at PKCT have been willing to bargain in good faith as we seek a new deal with the company. However, protecting workers’ rights to permanent, secure jobs is a matter of principle - not just for our workplace but for the whole community.”
Workers will be taking rolling industrial action throughout the Christmas period, said Mr Timbs.