Electrical Contracting, Service Industry and Equipment Technicians

Electrical Contracting, Service Industry and Equipment Technicians

Canberra Construction Update

- Friday, November 22, 2013

Rates of Pay for the Construction Industry.

The contactors that built the ASIO building, 4 National Circuit, Manhattan Apartments and the other big Government and private jobs have been snookered.

The “second level” players came into the market to fill the gap left in apartment building works.

I am being kind by calling these guys “second level”. They are the residential/small commercial contractors who put in prices on jobs the big companies didn’t have the staff to work on. The “second level” companies got the work with unbelievably low prices.

The ETU has been visiting sites and discovered how:

  • Low wages (award).
  • 40 hour week every week (no RDO) illegal under National Employment Standards.
  • Apprentice ratios.
  • Safety and Job admin compliance.
  • Training additional to trade training.
  • Working out of their garage.
  • Keeping the ETU and workers apart.

The ETU doesn’t begrudge any “rising star” companies competing. Far from it - the licence allows any electrician to become a contractor. But the result of some behaviours is:

  • Potential Safety Breaches
  • Injury “cover ups”
  • $300+ per week not being paid to workers
  • Less super for workers
  • Builders expecting up to 15% discount on previous tenders
  • The “race to the bottom” for wages and conditions
  • Redundancies and closure of the big players.

We can thank these "second level" companies for eroding pay and conditions won by ETU members.

There is no reason why a Contractor can’t quote a reasonable price and pay their workers properly.

The ETU and the guys need to talk to the boss and get a proper rate of pay and conditions. Join the ETU and lets fight for fair pay and conditions.

Any Canberra construction sparkies needing assistance can contact ETU Organiser, Mick Koppie.