Electrical Contracting, Service Industry and Equipment Technicians

Electrical Contracting, Service Industry and Equipment Technicians

BARANGAROO: STOWE ISSUED PROHIBITION NOTICE AFTER UNION ACTION

Peter Moss - Thursday, October 12, 2017

STOWE"S FAULTY WIRING SHOCKS BARANGAROO WORKER



ETU action today saw a Prohibition Notice issued to contractor Stowe Australia after a worker received an electric shock at Barangaroo yesterday.

Faulty wiring installed by unlicensed electricians caused the shock, regulator SafeWork NSW found.

The Notice bans all work on mounted power points in the affected area until new systems, including supervision, are in place.

The incident is just the latest safety breach on the massive Barangaroo site under builder Lend Lease.

ETU organiser Fred Barbin called on Stowe to properly train workers in the required temporary wiring standard AS 3012.

‘The ETU will continue to actively monitor the Barangaroo site to ensure workers can go home safely,’ said Fred.

SAFETY CONCERNS ON YOUR SITE? CONTACT THE ETU TEAM IMMEDIATELY

Electricians again walk off $200m Opera House renovation over safety fears followings asbestos tests

Paul Lister - Friday, October 06, 2017

Electrical workers this morning stopped work on the $200 million renovation of the Sydney Opera House, refusing to continue with the installation of cabling through the iconic building after receiving confirmation that potentially-deadly friable asbestos had again been located in work areas.

Scientific testing of samples collected yesterday were this morning confirmed to contain friable asbestos, sparking a meeting of electrical workers where they decided to walk off the job immediately until the serious safety issue was resolved.

The incident is the second time in two months that asbestos concerns have halted renovation works on the iconic building, with the Electrical Trades Union demanding the safety regulator and NSW Government intervene to ensure the issue is resolved.

“This issue was first identified two months ago, with SafeWork NSW giving builder Laing O'Rourke a weak slap on the wrist. The company had seven days to remove the asbestos or eliminate the threat to workers through appropriate safety measures and have clearly failed to do so,” ETU secretary Dave McKinley said.

“Electricians yesterday raised the alarm that they were again being exposed to loose asbestos fibres, which has now been confirmed by scientific testing.

“Two months after this major safety issue was uncovered, and the builder was ordered to rectify it by the safety regulator, we have again seen workers exposed to these carcinogenic fibres.”

Mr McKinley said the union was demanding the NSW Minister for Better Regulation, Matt Keen, immediately launch an investigation as to why SafeWork NSW refuses to impose a prohibition notice on Laing O'Rourke, which would prevent any construction work from taking place in the contaminated areas until the asbestos was isolated and removed by specialist contractors.

“It is completely unacceptable that workers, performers and the general public continue to be exposed to a toxic substance at this iconic building, particularly as the builder is receiving $200 million from taxpayers to carry out the renovations,” he said.

“Electricians have made a decision to put their safety first, despite the fact that Laing O'Rourke previously threatened to have them prosecuted in the Fair Work Commission after accusing them of taking unlawful industrial action when they last stopped work over asbestos concerns.

“It’s pretty clear the system is broken when workers are threatened with legal action for refusing to expose themselves to a deadly substance like asbestos, yet the safety regulator seems unwilling to ensure the builder is abiding by workplace health and safety laws.

“The NSW Government need to get off their backsides, take responsibility for this serious issue, and ensure that all asbestos is removed from the Opera House.”

 

They Weren't Asking for Much

Paul Lister - Wednesday, September 27, 2017

ETU MEMBER 'DIAMOND DAVE' TOUSSAINT WINS AUSTRALIAN MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLE

Peter Moss - Monday, September 25, 2017
ETU member ‘Diamond Dave’ Toussaint has fought his way from wiring construction sites to conquering the Australian middleweight boxing title.



The Canberra sparkie clinched the vacant champion’s belt earlier this month. He dominated Queenslander Liam Hutchinson for six rounds before the fight was stopped.

Diamond Dave led comfortably on all scorecards when his opponent was badly cut in an accidental head clash.

The Capital Fight Night earlier this month was sponsored by the Electrical Trades Union.

A ringside table of ETU construction members and officials cheered the power-punching southpaw on his way to the national title.

Dave Toussaint, who fights in the ETU blue and gold, thanked the union during his victory speech.

Trained by CFMEU organiser Garry Humphries, Dave’s next bout is likely to be on 25 November in Brisbane on Jeremy Horn’s undercard.

Dave was an Electrogroup apprentice before working for contractor Fredon. His professional record stands at 12-0.

Fellow ETU member Felipe Ferreira fought and lost on points on the Capital Fight Night undercard, taking his record to 6-3.

Thanks to Justin's Photo Works for the image.

VICTORY FOR KONE WORKERS: 16% PAY RISE WON AFTER SIX-WEEK CAMPAIGN

Peter Moss - Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Kone lift workers have won a 16 per cent pay rise thanks to an incredible six-week campaign that demonstrates the power of union solidarity.

Around 200 Kone employees voted today to end industrial action and accept in principle a much-improved company offer.

Victory on the key union demand of 16 per cent higher pay came after 26 days of strike action.

Workers will soon receive a 5 per cent increase backdated to March with instalments of 4.5, 4.5 and 2 per cent to follow.

The 3.5-year agreement will be subject to a formal vote in around two weeks (see below). Other notable gains include:

• additional 0.25% super, taking employer contributions to 12.25 %
• all allowances increase in line with pay
• vehicle allowance paid to all with Kone vehicles
• significant increases to site allowance.

The breakthrough came after ETU and AMWU members took five four-day and one six-day stoppages over six weeks.

The company tried to push through an inferior offer last week but employees strongly rejected that and responded with a full week of strike action. That saw management cave in and increase the wages offer by 4 per cent.

The lift technicians and fitters lost a lot of pay but stuck together throughout to achieve a greater gain. Veteran unionists say this is the best result from a Kone industrial campaign in many years.



EXPOSED: UGL'S BACKDOOR EBA PAID ELECTRICIANS JUST $23 PER HOUR

Peter Moss - Wednesday, September 20, 2017

CONTRACTOR PLANS TO SLASH INDUSTRY RATES ACROSS 3 STATES

"Our investigation revealed a bizarre arrangement where a handful of workers were employed through one company, paid a monthly bonus by another company, asked to vote on a workplace agreement that would subsequently cover hundreds of other workers across three states, then stripped of their bonuses when they asked for assistance from the union."

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.


Kone lift workers vote to reject pay off and escalate strike action

Peter Moss - Thursday, September 14, 2017
KONE LIFT WORKERS’ 70% VOTE REJECTS SUBSTANDARD OFFER

STRIKE ACTION SET TO ESCALATE AS MANAGEMENT LOSES PLOT

Kone lift workers plan to strike for 11 of the next 12 days after more than 70 per cent voted down a company pay offer in an official phone poll.

The six-week dispute will intensify after an overwhelming majority of union members elected to fight on for wage justice.

Fewer than 30 per cent of employees voted to accept Kone’s unilateral offer. Company managers are reportedly locked in crisis meetings.

The wages proposal put to lift technicians and fitters has not substantially improved despite weeks of industrial action.

For the past month Kone has not met with the elected ETU/AMWU Bargaining Committee.

A Trades Hall mass meeting this morning strongly supported seven days of strike action from Wednesday 20 September. That strike will follow a four-day stoppage starting tomorrow.

The mood at the mass meeting was ominous. Speakers from the Committee and the floor slammed Kone’s failure to negotiate.

The dispute has crippled Kone’s operations across Sydney.

Sydney Trains, a major Kone client, now issues regular warnings about rail network lifts and escalators. At World Square, Kone lifts and escalators are frequently out of order.

The company needs to take stock and revise its approach after today's failed vote.

Workers are in a strong position to win an improved offer provided we stick strong together.

UNION WIN: 17.5% PAY RISE FOR STAR GROUP SERVICE ELECTRICIANS

Paul Lister - Wednesday, August 30, 2017

ETU members working for Star Group have won a 17.5 per cent pay boost in their new standard-setting agreement.

The four-year EBA covers up to 40 workers at the company’s service division in Sydney City, Condell Park and the North Shore.

It delivers substantial real wage increases with five pay hikes between 2017 and 2020 totalling 17.5 per cent.

The EBA improves:
• On-call Allowance from $250 to $350 per week
• Travel Allowance by $2 to $22 per day
• Living Away from Home Allowance from $120 to $155.

‘We’re pretty happy with it,’ said ETU delegate Tom Murphy. ‘We made reasonable demands and stuck together until we achieved those.’

Tom, a leading hand electrician, said the outcome benefits both workers and the company.

‘Star Group wanted a four-year agreement to provide stability and certainty. We needed significantly increased wages and allowances to reflect the value of our work. This agreement delivers on both.’

Management accepted the inclusion of a Domestic Violence Clause.

ETU organiser Steve Bankes said members at Star Group’s service division have set the standard for the electrical contracting sector.

‘Our members at Star won for three reasons: they have high levels of union membership, they are united and they are prepared to fight.

‘That is the formula for successful campaigns by workers everywhere,’ said Steve.

 

UPDATE FOR KONE MEMBERS

Paul Lister - Wednesday, August 16, 2017

ETU & AMWU KONE WORKERS MASS MEETING
8 AM, FRIDAY 18 AUGUST
SYDNEY TRADES HALL, 377 SUSSEX STREET

After two six-day stoppages, our campaign for wage justice at Kone has reached a critical stage.

Our industrial and campaign action is having a significant impact on the company.

We need to stick together and stay strong to win this dispute.

Latest news:

  • The union negotiating team met with management this afternoon ---- this is the fourth such meeting over the past two days
  • Management is under more pressure every day that we stay united in our action
  • The mass meeting this Friday will deliver a full report back and discuss the way forward. Please ensure you attend and have your say at this meeting.

ETU members report that management has approached and applied pressure to individual employees to return to work. Do not be intimidated by management tactics and threats, whether implicit or explicit. Our unity is our strength ---- that is why the company seeks to divide and rule.

Stay united, stay strong and let’s support each other until we achieve the wage justice you deserve.

In solidarity Steve Bankes, ETU and Fergal Eiffe, AMWU

URGENT NOTICE FOR ETU KONE MEMBERS

Paul Lister - Wednesday, August 02, 2017

The ETU has become aware that Kone management are pressuring members to change their work hours including start and finish times.

Under Clause 6 of the EBA Kone are required to consult with each affected employee. Clause 6.3 states that each eamployee is entitled to representation and Clause 6.9 of the EBA defines major changes as including the alteration to Hours of Work.

As there has been no consultation to date we advise all ETU members to work their normal hours and to not agree to any change in working hours including start and finish times.

We believe that Kone are in breach of the EBA if they continue to pursue these changes without consultation and providing each employee with the opportunity to have the union represent them.

THE ETU HAS PUT THE MATTER IN DISPUTE. ALL MEMBERS SHOULD CONTINUE TO WORK ORDINARY SHIFTS AND ORDINARY START FINISH TIMES AND NOT AGREE TO ANY CHANGE UNTIL CONSULTATION HAS OCCURRED. EACH EMPLOYEE NEEDS TO NOTIFY KONE BY EMAIL THAT THE ETU IS REPRESENTING THEM IN ANY CONSULTATION AROUND THE ALTERATION OF HOURS OF WORK.