Bluescope Workers Demand a Fair Share of Record Profits

Workers at Bluescope Steel are demanding a fair pay deal after management announced a record profit of $1.6 billion dollars this morning, an increase of 119%. Workers are currently negotiating to restore pay and conditions that were taken away during the 2015 steel crisis.

Bluescope’s workers are demanding a 10% pay rise over the next three years to make up for a difficult, three-year pay freeze. Management is only offering 7.5% over three years, and demanding further cuts to conditions.

“In 2015, Bluescope was in trouble and their workers ensured that they could keep the Port Kembla steelworks open,” said AMWU NSW Secretary Steve Murphy. “In 2018 the company has returned to profitability – and those workers deserve their fair share.”

“Put simply: it is not too much to ask. Bluescope workers deserve a pay increase.”

“This profit was made by workers. Bluescope management needs to recognise the sacrifices workers made in 2015 and come to the table with a better deal.”

In 2015 a landmark deal to keep the Port Kembla steelworks open was negotiated between unions and Bluescope Steel. This deal included 500 redundancies and a three year pay freeze, as well as some cuts to conditions.

That deal expired on June 23, and negotiations for a new three year enterprise agreement are at a deadlock. Unions are currently conducting a protected action ballot to authorise industrial action at the site.

“We have been bargaining in good faith, but the company is simply not listening to us,” said Mr Murphy.

“What is happening at Bluescope is happening across the country: companies are making record profits and their workers aren’t getting their fair share.”

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