General Trade, Mining and Manufacturing

General Trade, Mining and Manufacturing

Bluescope workers vote to reject EBA offer & escalate action

Peter Moss - Wednesday, January 23, 2019
A mass meeting of Bluescope workers on 22 January voted unanimously to reject the company’s latest EBA offer and to escalate industrial action.

The meeting follows six months of industrial action by ETU, AWU and AMWU members at Bluescope’s Port Kembla and Springhill plants.

Each section of employees will now undertake a 12-hour strike over the next fortnight to ramp up pressure on the company.

ETU delegate and negotiator Matt Daly said workers are determined to achieve ‘a fair and equitable outcome’.

‘We want an agreement that is equitable across the company, which recognises our past sacrifices and the huge profits now being made at Bluescope,’ the shift electrician said.

Employees accepted reduced conditions and job losses in 2015 when the company faced financial pressure due to global conditions.

Now Bluescope is booming again with an annual $1.6 billion profit but has refused to fairly reward loyal employees.

A proposed bonus system that is weighted heavily in management’s favour, a low-ball pay offer and weekend sick pay rates are among the issues at stake.

ETU organiser Brad Currey said the company seemed in no hurry to reach agreement.

‘Negotiations are not moving. Bluescope seems happy to stonewall while raking in huge profits. But the company should not underestimate the resolve of our members to get a fair deal,’ said Brad