Electrical Contracting, Service Industry and Equipment Technicians

Electrical Contracting, Service Industry and Equipment Technicians

Sydney sparkie in fatal fall

- Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A 62 year old electrical worker has died in hospital of his injuries just days after falling from an extension ladder while working on a construction site in Kensington Street, Chippendale.

The Electrical Trades Union said building work on the site had stopped following the worker’s fall on Wednesday afternoon, with WorkCover NSW issuing prohibition notices in relation to all ladders on the site.

The injured man suffered serious head injuries when he struck the ground, and despite being transported to hospital he later passed away.

Dave McKinley said ETU officials had visited the site on at least two occasions prior to the fatal fall, raising a range of safety concerns including in relation to work at heights.

McKinley said that while the deceased man was employed through a labour hire company, workplace health and safety legislation places the ultimate duty of care for providing a safe working environment on builder Rapid Construction and principal electrical contractor Ozlect Electrical.

If any members have safety concerns they should contact their organiser ASAP.

Rally against ChAFTA

- Friday, July 17, 2015

The ETU is supporting national rally's in all capital cities against Tony Abbott's China Free Trade Agreement that will see aussie workers worse off.

The China FTA allows Chinese companies investing more than A$150 million to import temporary workers without testing if local workers are available, and allows Chinese companies to sue our government for damages if changes to our laws have a negative impact on them.

A Parliamentary Committee is taking evidence about the China FTA over the next month. The ETU want to make your voice heard, by bringing our flags, banners and members together to send a message to the Australian Parliament that we do not support Abbott's China Free Trade Agreement.

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD: Rally outside the Sydney Committee hearing, Friday 31 July, 12 noon, meet outside NSW Parliament House, Macquarie St, Sydney and bring a friend.

Stop the China Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA)

- Thursday, July 16, 2015

You may have heard that just a few weeks ago Prime Minister Tony Abbott signed off on the China Free Trade Agreement that will allow Chinese based companies to import their own labour.

Abbott's free trade agreement also removes the requirement for mandatory skills assessment for ten occupations including: Electrician (General), Electrician (Special Class), Automotive Electrician. ALL OTHER occupations will be reviewed within two years with the aim of reducing or eliminating the need for skills assessments.

The ETU is fighting to STOP THE CHINA FREE TRADE AGREEMENT by raising this as a public issue before two parliamentary committee's consider the issues. In order to come into effect these parliamentary committees must sign off on it.

TAKE ACTION TODAY - visit the Australian Unions website and email your MP


NECA working to minimise apprentice pay & conditions

- Thursday, July 09, 2015

The ETU is fighting to get a better deal for NECA Group Training Apprentices.

We recently surveyed NECA GT apprentices who responded by highlighting that apprentices want a better deal when it comes to pay and conditions.

The ETU is preparing our log of claim for the NECA GT EBA. Don't be fooled by the spin from NECA that  they are your friend - it is NECA that are trying their hardest to undermine apprentice pay and conditions. The ETU - your union - are the only ones fighting for a better deal.

BEWARE: If NECA decide to put a non union endorse agreement to a vote all NECA apprentices should vote NO and back the union for a better deal. By sticking together we will win.


ETU fighting for a better deal for NECA Apprentices

- Thursday, July 02, 2015

The ETU took NECA to the Fair Work Commission last Monday to argue that NECA have not been bargaining in good faith when it comes to a new EBA for NECA Apprentices. Commissioner Lawrence recommended that both the ETU and NECA meet to discuss the unions log of claim on behalf of NECA Apprentices - this meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday 15 July.

Now that the ETU has been successful in getting NECA to the negotiating table we are asking ALL NECA APPRENTICES to complete this online survey to assist the union in formulating your final log of claim.

The ETU wants to see NECA apprentices secure an agreement that improves their pay and conditions by reviewing the current pay structure and pay levels, inclusion of income protection insurance, Host employer EBA rates to be paid (if they are higher)when NECA apprentices are working on EBA sites, increases to allowances and fair annual pay increases.

This is where YOU come in. We want NECA apprentices to tell us what is most important to you. Please complete the survey below and make sure you let your work mates know to do the same.


if you have any questions please contact ETU Organiser Ben Lister on benl@etunsw.asn.au or 0400 264 007.


* Required

Look out for yourself and your work mates

- Friday, June 19, 2015

Are you concerned about a workmate or are you struggling yourself with changes at work? There are many services available that can provide assistance.

Lifeline: www.lifeline.org.au
Sane Australia: www.sane.org
Black Dog Institute: www.blackdoginstitute.org.au
Beyond Blue: www.beyondblue.org.au

NSW Apprentice Forum with John Kaye

- Friday, May 29, 2015

Apprentices are some of the most exploited workers and students in Australia. Most apprentices have stories of poor working conditions, unfair dismissal, and being paid below minimum wage.

At this free public forum you will hear from a number of speakers explaining what the state and federal government are doing. This will be your opportunity to tell the Greens and others what you want us to do to stop the exploitation and remove many of the difficulties you face.

Thursday 11 June, 6:30 pm
Club Ashfield, 1-11 Charlotte Street, Ashfield

Speakers include

  • John Kaye, Greens NSW MP
  • Lee Rhiannon, Greens Senator
  • Rita Mallia, State President, Construction & General Division, NSW Branch CFMEU
  • Phill Chadwick, President NSW TAFE Teachers Association
  • Mark Burgess, National Apprenticeship Officer, Electrical Trades Union

All welcome. Refreshments to be provided.
RSVP to john.kaye@parliament.nsw.gov.au
For more information Ph: 9230 2668

Don't forget to like, join and share the facebook event here.

Safe Work Australia releases latest mesothelioma report

- Thursday, May 21, 2015

Safe work Australia recently release their latest report on mesothelioma. This presents a factual analysis of mesothelioma cases taking into account data up to 2013 and is based on data from the Australian Mesothelioma Registry (AMR) and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). In addition to mesothelioma statistics, the report provides background information on the production and use of asbestos in Australia, including an overview of regulations and initiatives aimed at preventing exposure to asbestos.

Key findings include:

  • The AMR was notified of 652 new cases of mesothelioma in 2012. The preliminary number of diagnoses for 2013 is 575.
  • AIHW data shows that the number of new mesothelioma cases has risen steadily in most years since 1982, when national data first became available, and peaked at 690 in 2011.
  • Of the 690 mesothelioma cases in 2011, 83 percent were of males and 90 percent were of people aged 60 years and above.
  • The number of deaths due to mesothelioma generally increased between 1997 and 2012 and reached a peak of 638 in 2012.
  • Of the 638 mesothelioma deaths in 2012, 84 percent were of males and 94 percent were of people aged 60 years and above.

Click here to read a copy of the report.

Concerns over safety at Barangaroo after worker made contact with live power during 15 hour shift

- Monday, May 18, 2015

Workers are demanding a thorough investigation into safety at Barangaroo South following a serious incident that saw a labour hire contractor come in contact with live electricity while carrying out commissioning work in a switch room, in the second serious electrical incident at the site this year.

The Electrical Trades Union said two electricians, employed by labour hire company LUHAN Group, had been working on the site for more than 15 hours when one of them came into contact with a live circuit.

Despite the incident occurring at 9.40pm on Thursday, safety regulator WorkCover NSW was not notified of the accident until 200 workers from major electrical contractor Stowe Australia stopped work on the site and demanded proper scrutiny of the accident.

ETU secretary Steve Butler said inspectors from WorkCover issued two prohibition notices — preventing certain work from occurring — following their visit to the site.

“There are serious questions that still need answering about how this electrician was able to make contact with a live circuit, which had the potential to deliver a fatal electric shock,” Mr Butler said.

“The union has been told that these two men — employed by a labour hire contractor — had been working for more than 15 hours at the time of the incident.

“They were there without supervision, no safe work method statement had been prepared for what they were doing, there was no observer in the switch room in case of an emergency, and there were reportedly delays with the response to the accident.

“It is also concerning that the safety regulator was not notified about the incident until after the union and workers demanded the cause of the accident be properly investigated.”

Mr Butler said he was deeply concerned that labour hire workers, who have no job security, were being pressured to work long hours in dangerous conditions at Barangaroo.

“Unlike the electrical workers employed by major contractors on site, these labour hire workers have no job security, so they find it extremely challenging to raise safety concerns,” he said.

“It is difficult to imagine permanent electricians being forced to work more than 15 hours straight without proper safety procedures in place, yet that was what was asked of these two men.”

Protect yourself - make sure you are financial

- Thursday, May 07, 2015

We’re not talking about glasses and gloves. We’re talking about protecting your rights to ‘have a say’.

With the looming EBA negotiations we are urging all members to make sure that they are financial in case the proverbial ‘hits the fan’ as it did three and a half years ago. How would you feel if there was a protected action ballot and because you were a few months behind with your fees you had to walk past your work mates and go into work while they’re making a stand for better wages and conditions?

Being a financial ETU member is a great way of protecting yourself at work. The ETU are out there fighting for members across the construction sector every day of the week on important issues including EBA negotiations, safety, apprentice rights and licensing issues while also holding unscrupulous bosses to account.

But this is not the only protection we offer to members. All financial ETU members also enjoy Journey Cover Insurance supplied free to all members. This protection was taken away from ordinary workers by Barry O’Farrell back in 2012 meaning if you have an accident on the way to or from work ordinary workers are on their own, but not if you are an ETU member. The ETU came to the party offering members free Journey Cover Insurance meaning we have you covered.

New Law Solicitors – the ETU’s own law firm has you covered for all manner of legal issues, whether it’s family law, conveyancing, discrimination cases, wills, industrial law or litigation so they have your back covered. As they’re a union owned law firm the first consultation is free and further representation is at a fraction of the normal cost of other law firms.

Following feedback from members the ETU has recently introduced new Funeral Cover for members who pay their fees by direct debit. This provides ETU members and their families peace of mind knowing that if the unthinkable happens the ETU is there to help those left behind.

On top of all this the ETU also offers fantastic holiday cabins. The kids can let off some steam as you kick back on the beach, or wet a line and let the stress levels drop as you forget the cut and thrust of the construction site. Our only advice when it comes to the ETU cabins is to book early as our Nambucca Heads cabins proved extremely popular with members.

ETU recruitment officer Steve Bankes is here to help members who’ve fallen behind with their fees, get back on track. If you have fallen behind get in touch sooner rather than later as the construction industry EBA is approaching fast and only financial ETU members can participate in any campaign or action.

Steve Bankes will be visiting sites every day. Feel free to approach Steve at the next mass meeting or if you want to chat or talk about membership please call Steve on 0414 877 553.

You can JOIN THE ETU ONLINE. You can also SIGN UP FOR DIRCT DEBIT to make sure you qualify for the ETU's new funeral benefits. 

Workers are stronger when we are all together – make sure you’re a financial ETU member and enjoy POWER IN UNITY.