No Emergency Response on Eastlink
There is no local Emergency Response on EastLink today after maintenance contractor Broadspectrum told Australian Workers’ Union members they would not be paid for their work if they went ahead with protected industrial action.
The protected action, scheduled to start today, comes after six months of negotiation towards a new Enterprise Agreement. The sticking point in those negotiations is that Broadspectrum wants unilateral control over all rostering, while workers want consultation and agreement on roster changes.
AWU Victorian Secretary Ben Davis said Broadspectrum had chosen to escalate the dispute, despite efforts from the workers to resolve it.
“Broadspectrum yesterday rejected an offer from the group to roll over the existing agreement for two years, with no pay rises,” Mr Davis said.
“Workers made that offer with the proviso that there would be agreement on roster changes, as is the current situation. This is not an unreasonable ask from shift workers,” Mr Davis said.
“They were quite prepared to continue to work with the bans, which are part of lawful protected industrial action, but Broadspectrum has made sure that cannot happen.”
The protected action bans, of which the company was notified on Tuesday, and which were due to start at 6am this morning were: no collection of rubbish, no paperwork and no involvement in this weekend’s scheduled maintenance shutdown of the tunnel.
There are 28 maintenance workers involved in the action, with each shift maintaining a presence outside Broadspectrum’s Ringwood offices.