Maintenance workers at the Ichthys Gas Plant near Darwin have taken industrial action after their employer Trace Broad Spectrum refused to come to the table on key issues like paid leave, breaks and allowances.
Workers at the Ichthys plant are highly skilled and doing technical and dangerous work, but are paid 10-20 per cent less than equivalent workers on plants in Queensland and Western Australia.
Taking industrial action is a decision that no worker takes lightly and the decision was made in Darwin only after 10 months of negotiations stalled with management refusing to provide reasonable pay and conditions, in line with similar jobs elsewhere in the industry.
Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:
“The issues being faced by these workers in Darwin will be familiar to any worker who has ever tried to negotiate a pay rise or decent conditions in Australia. The odds are stacked against workers during bargaining and employers have far too much power.
“The Morrison Government’s IR Omnibus legislation will make this even worse, giving more power to employers to drive down wages and strip away conditions.
“These workers do hard work under difficult circumstances while their employers reap huge profits. They deserve to be paid fairly for their work, and this is all they’re asking for.
“We stand with these workers and all other working people fighting for better pay and stronger conditions, and that is why we are campaigning against the Morrison Government’s Bill. It will crush wage growth and in turn hurt the economy.”