Electrical Contracting, Service Industry and Equipment Technicians

Electrical Contracting, Service Industry and Equipment Technicians

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.



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.