Fearful of a complete border closure Engage Marine who perform Towage for Rio Tinto Iron Ore are making their interstate employees decide whether to relocate to the Pilbara for at least the next 6 months or be stood down without pay. The company have been pushing a Partnership model of employment for the past few years which takes away the employees right to be covered by Fair Work legislation. Naturally, a majority of their employees were against this, though after constant bullying, victimization and coercion to join Partnerships the company currently sit at half Partnerships and half Employees.
If the Partners relocate, Engage have offered them paid accommodation, a vehicle & 25% of their day rate to sit idle on their rostered days off whilst their own employees are being supplied accommodation only and no extra incentive. The company have even gone as far to say that if employees wish to relocate their families, they will have to do so at their own expense. With the recent announcement of further WA border restrictions that come in force at 11.59pm on Sunday night, the company will be making employees entering WA stand down for 14 days without pay and at their own expense.
MUA’s Christy Cain said; “Rio Tinto stated they were concerned over the difference in treatment between Partners and Employees. Yet claim that they have no control over their contractor’s employment methods.”
“We may face the issue that we haven’t got enough people to perform the work if Engage don’t give their employees concerns around relocating genuine consideration.”
“We do understand the importance of continuity of the RTIO’s supply chain not only for all their workers, though indeed for the government to continue to generate an income also and we want to ensure that we can find an outcome to assist continuity.”