Electrical Contracting, Service Industry and Equipment Technicians

Electrical Contracting, Service Industry and Equipment Technicians

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.

Asbestos Found in Opera House.

Paul Lister - Tuesday, August 01, 2017

The ETU has been made aware that asbestos has been detected during the $200 million renovation of the Sydney Opera House exposing electricians working on Troffers, Risers and Penetrations. The ETU takes the threat of asbestos seriously and as such the ETU is instructing members not to undertake work on Troffers, Risers and Penetrations at the Sydney Opera House until further notice.

Airborne/friable asbestos presents a significant safety threat and the ETU is taking all necessary steps in order to protect members at this time. If you are requested to work in these areas you should advise your supervisor that you have safety concerns and immediately contact Antony Stegic at the union on 0414 877 943.

Builder Lang O'Rourke and Electrical contractor Downer were made aware of the possible presence of asbestos last Monday at which time the employer undertook testing. Results delivered on Wednesday confirmed the presence of asbestos however Lang O'Rourke and Downer did not report this safety incident to SafeWork NSW as a notifiable incident.

The ETU was notified on Friday and has since discovered that ALMOST ALL OF DOWNER’S ELECTRICIANS WORKING ON THE OPERA HOUSE RENOVATION HAVE NOT BEEN TRAINED IN ASBESTOS AWARENESS AND WORKING WITH ASBESTOS PROCEDURES.

As such the ETU advises all members working on this site that NO FURTHER WORK SHOULD BE UNDERTAKEN ON TROFFERS, RISERS AND PENETRATIONS DUE TO THE POSSIBLE PRESENCE OF ASBESTOS IN THESE AREAS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

The ETU is demanding that new risk assessments be undertaken and necessary training be provided to all employees’ covering asbestos awareness and safe work methods in addition to full personal protective equipment being supplied and used in these areas.

Additionally PCB’s (Polychlorinated biphenyl) have also been found onsite in lighting ballast – PCB’s are a known cancer causing agent – ONLY ETU MEMBERS THAT HAVE BEEN TRAINED IN THE SAFE HANDLING OF PCB’S USING SAFE WORK METHODS AND PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT SHOULD UNDERTAKE THIS WORK.

We will provide a further update to members once the situation has been adequately dealt with by management.

Stewart Edward & Antony Stegic - ETU Organisers

KONE LIFT WORKERS MOBILISE FOR WAGE JUSTICE - STANDING STRONG TOGETHER

Paul Lister - Monday, July 31, 2017

More than 100 Kone lift technicians and fitters rallied today at the company's head office in Alexandria.

ETU and AMWU members enjoyed a hearty BBQ breakfast before marching on Kone headquarters.

The workers have one simple demand -- pay rises to bring their wages in line with the industry standard.

The dispute will continue until our members achieve wage justice.

LIFT INDUSTRY CONFERENCE PRESSES THE RIGHT BUTTONS

Peter Moss - Wednesday, June 28, 2017

ETU delegates from around Australia have set their strategy around key industry issues.

The union's annual Lift Industry Conference focused on:

* the implications of the Building Code for EBAs
* safety
* proposed changes to National Standards
* licencing.

The Conference brought together delegates from around Australia -- representing Kone, Otis, Schindler and Thyssen Krupp.

ETU members vowed to stay strong together and maintain the good conditions achieved through union action.

National Day of Action - Stand Up Fight Back

Paul Lister - Monday, June 19, 2017

A National Day of Action has been organised to stand up and fight back against the Turnbull Government attacks on workers including:

  • Cuts to Penalty Rates
  • Rampant Wage Theft from Employers
  • ABCC & Building Code Attacks, and
  • Exploitation of Overseas Workers

Rally's have been organised in Sydney and Canberra taking place tomorrow Tuesday 20 June, details below.

$50,000 RECOVERED FOR 30 KONE APPRENTICES

Peter Moss - Wednesday, May 31, 2017

ETU INVESTIGATION UNCOVERS MASSIVE TRAVEL ALLOWANCE UNDERPAYMENT

Kone apprentices are all smiles after banking thousands of dollars in backpay, thanks to union action.

An ETU investigation revealed the young ETU members were being paid just a fraction of their rightful travel allowance.

They are entitled to the same travel allowance as tradespeople but had been receiving lower rates.

Thirty apprentices were owed amounts ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. That money is now safe in their pockets.

Are you being paid your full entitlements? Check with your ETU delegate or organiser.

 

$66,000 UNPAID SUPER RECOVERED FOR 30 ETU MEMBERS

Peter Moss - Monday, May 29, 2017

INVESTIGATION CONTINUES INTO JOHN AYRES ELECTRICAL

 The ETU has recovered $66,000 in superannuation owed to around 30 ETU members.

Contractor JOHN AYRES ELECTRICAL failed to pay compulsory super and MERC redundancy contributions between January and May for some electricians.

 The missing money has been recovered but an ETU crackdown on missing super continues.

 ETU member Brad Potter, working for John Ayres Electrical on an inner-city site, said he was ‘pissed off’.

 ‘This a major cock-up with our money but the company seems to think it is not a big deal,’ said Brad. ‘We earned that super. It’s not for the boss to delay payment for any reason.’

 3 TOP TIPS FOR GUARDING YOUR SUPER

  1. CHECK the employer name and ABN on your pay slip. This is the company you are legally employed by
  2.  CHECK your super account ONLINE by the 14th day of every month. This is the only way to be sure your super is paid up-to-date
  3.  IF YOU have not received super contributions for three months – or if you have any other concern – contact your ETU delegate or organiser for support


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