The Australian Workers’ Union has once again demonstrated its commitment to the workers of Kalgoorlie.
AWU WA Branch Secretary Brad Gandy recently visited the remote town to meet with members and undertook a number of site visits.
AWU WA Branch Secretary Brad Gandy with Goldfields Members
The AWU is the only union to have an organiser based in town representing workers in the gold and nickel mining industries as well as the Water Corporation.
Mr Gandy was able to hear how organiser Paul Hartlebury has increased membership by more than 35 per cent in the last year and now represents 600 workers.
Mr Gandy said: “The AWU will always go above and beyond for its members and it’s important for us to be in the heart of the community so we can see and hear what’s really happening. That’s why we travelled out here, and why we have Paul right in the centre of town, so he can really get to know the region, it’s employers and our members.”
Mr Gandy made a number of formal site visits hearing direct from members regarding their workplace issues or concerns at KCGM commonly referred to as the Super Pit – the biggest open pit gold mine in Australia, Norton Gold Fields and the Water Corporation.
Mr Gandy added: “The price of gold is booming right now so it’s vital we ensure that worker safety is placed well ahead of profits.”
A wide range of issues were discussed from crucial safety matters to upcoming EBA bargaining at KCGM. It’s current agreement is due to end next year.
On behalf of the AWU Mr Gandy also had the opportunity to pay his respects at the Eastern Goldfields Miners Memorial.
He said: “There are more than 1500 names on this memorial which is incredibly confronting and a stark reminder that our members are engaged in incredibly dangerous work. Every year one or two names are added to this memorial. This is why it’s vital that we visit sites, see the conditions workers are facing and fight to improve worker safety.”
The visit was capped off with a Goldfields Members Dinner.
Special thanks to our Goldfields members for their hospitality and continuing commitment to the AWU.