The Offshore Alliance has once again demonstrated its strength and tenacity by securing the first ever bargaining process for AWU members at Legeneering Australia.
Due to the highly casualised nature of this employer’s workforce, the Alliance was unsuccessful in its first bid to secure an order from the Fair Work Commission for the company to start bargaining with its offshore maintenance workforce. Undeterred, the Alliance made another application to the Commission only 4 weeks later and was successful in securing the order.
The effect of this order is to force Legeneering to commence bargaining for an enterprise agreement to cover its offshore maintenance workforce. The Alliance will be looking to secure an EBA that will deliver increased pay, better conditions and most importantly, job security.
The order comes after months of work by the Offshore Alliance, made up of The Australian Workers’ Union and the Maritime Union of Australia, and backed by the Electrical Trades Union, who took on Legeneering Australia – a maintenance and engineering company specialising in the offshore industry.
After suffering an early setback, the Alliance worked tirelessly to secure this outcome with the support of its members at Legeneering, who strongly backed the call for enterprise bargaining to begin.
Daniel Walton, National Secretary of the AWU, said: “This employer did not want any union involvement on its sites and took a hardline stance against the commencement of bargaining for an enterprise agreement. They were quite happy with having a casual workforce who they could dictate pay and conditions to as they liked. That suits the company but it’s not good for workers.
“Everyone deserves the right to job security and secure terms and conditions of employment.”
The bargaining process officially started with the company issuing a Notice to employees on 9 September. The Alliance has already collaborated extensively with members to prepare a comprehensive log of claims that will be presented to the company at the first bargaining meeting, which is yet to be scheduled.
Mr Walton added: “The Alliance is prepared to undertake whatever action is needed to safeguard members’ jobs and secure a better outcome. We have already demonstrated to employers in the offshore industry that we can and will secure better pay and conditions for workers across the sector, and we hope that Legeneering will do the right thing by its workforce.
“Our members want and deserve an enterprise agreement and we won’t give up until we secure the very best result.”