Electrical Contracting, Service Industry and Equipment Technicians
Electrical Contracting, Service Industry and Equipment Technicians
The ETU NSW Branch has swung their support behind our Victorian brothers in their fight against Carlton & United Breweries after CUB contracted out the jobs of 54 electricians and fitters and offered the workers to reapply for their old jobs on 65% less pay.
The ETU NSW, AMWU and Unions NSW are hitting the streets tomorrow to raise awareness of this bastard act with members of the public. WE ARE ASKING ALL ETU MEMBERS TO ATTEND ONE OF THE ACTIONS OCCURING TOMORROW IN SYDNEY CBD, PARRAMATTA AND PENRITH.
We will be handing out flyer asking members of the public to boycott CUB products including VB. Details for each event can be found below - please click on the link for each event for full details.
SYDNEY CBD - CLICK HERE (Pitt St Mall, 12noon - 1pm Friday 12 August outside Myer handing out flyers. Contact Salim Babar: 0417 286 482)
PARRAMATTA - CLICK HERE (Pitt St Mall, 12noon - 2pm Friday 12 August outside Myer handing out flyers. Contact Iris Knight 0429 464 064)
PENRITH - CLICK HERE (Penrith Plaza - Riley St 12noon - 2pm outside Westfield entry/exit handing out flyers. Contact Mary Yaager 0408 931 899)
Last night a construction worker was killed in a catastrophic incident on a Canberra building site. First and foremost, the ETU wishes to extend its deep and sincere condolences to the family and friends of the worker who lost his life last night. Our thoughts go out the workers on the site that lost a friend and comrade in such catastrophic circumstances.
From what we know of the incident so far, a crane driver from Sydney was killed when he was struck by the boom of a crane that rolled over during an on-site operation that went horribly wrong. The crane driver was assisting in the operation at the time and was not operating the crane that rolled over.
Electrical workers from Heyday 5 in Canberra were working in conjunction with the site crane crew to relocated a large generator from one area of the site to another. A worker was killed when he was struck by the boom of the non-slewing mobile crane (franna) after it rolled over during the placement of the load. Whilst the electrical workers were not injured as a result of the incident they have undoubtedly witnessed a horrific and catastrophic event that will adversely impact on them psychologically as the initial shock of the incident wears off. The ETU has made offers of support to the workers and to the company involved.
This incident serves as a stark reminder of how dangerous our industry can be and highlights the importance of being ever vigilant when it comes to workplace safety.
If you need assistance or you wish to talk to your ETU organiser please contact the ETU office on 02 9267 4844 and one of our memberhip services officers assist you.
"We couldn't have done it without the ETU" – Chris Walker
Electrical contracting company VMH based in Shellharbour went broke while working on a Lend Lease site at Darling Harbour Live. They were also contracted across major sites with state and federal government funding in Sydney.
Five ETU members were paid zero superanuation for up to a year and also had their wages, accruals and redundancy payments ripped off. The ETU pursued the issue with primary contractor Johnson Controls and Lend Lease Building to ensure that all ETU members recovered their superannuation and other entitlements which amounted to over $60,000.
The ETU became aware of the situation when one of our members, Chris Walker, enquired about his redundancy entitlements after being let go by the company in April. Initially, Chris wanted to know how much redundancy he was entitled to after working there for several years. However, Chris was unaware that the boss tricked him into reducing his wages to 'help the company'. The boss told him he would have to resign from the company first to make it legal to reduce his wages. In fact what the boss did was to steal his notice period and redundancy payments for the years he had worked. It was another example of wages theft!
ETU organisers Stewart Edward, Fred Barbin and Mick Hopper pursued the matter vigorously to ensure all monies owed were paid.
"This example of a company going broke or not paying correct entitlements on major construction sites is now common.” Said ETU organiser Stewart Edward.
“It is important that all workers check the name of the company they are working for and that it is written on their wage slip. Furthermore, it is essential that workers check that their superannuation is actually being paid into their accounts not just written on their wage slips.” Stewart said.
“Non payment of superannuation is an early indicator that your boss may be winding up the company you work for so it is important for workers to be vigilant." Stewart said.
The ETU understands that the individual involved in running this company may also have been involve in seething up another company with different directors to continue tendering on the same construction sites and with the same builders. The ETU will be keeping an eye on the situation in order to protect members.
If you have any concerns about your wages and entitlements you should contact the ETU on 9267 4844 .
The ETU has secured more than $2,000 in underpayments for a Sydney based Electrical Apprentice after it was discovered his employer was paying him less than the award rate.
The first year apprentice was employed by Halkat Electrical Service over a period of 8 months where the apprentice was paid at the rate of $9.85 an hour when the award rate for a first year electrical apprentice is $11.07.
Over the 8 month period the electrical apprentice was under paid $1,971 in wages and additional $145 in lost superannuation.
Recently the ETU has drawn a line in the sand in the construction and contracting sectors with a zero tolerance approach to dodgy bosses when it comes to member’s rights, conditions and workplace safety.
ETU organiser Fred Barbin who handled the matter said that it is possible other electrical apprentices could be in the same boat.
“My message to electrical apprentices is join your union, know your rights and double check things because bosses will rip you off at the first possible opportunity.” said Fred.
“This apprentice member eventually got what he was owed but it was only because the ETU got involved and force his employer to pay through legal intervention.”
“In the end the ETU took decisive action by notifying principle contractors on sites where Halkat Electrical Services was engaged forcing the boss to pay the apprentice what he was owed.
“Without the help of the union it is likely that this electrical apprentice would never have got his money which is an example of why it is so important for all workers to join their union.” said Fred.
If you are an electrical apprentice, electrician or electrical worker and you suspect you are not being paid correctly you should contact the ETU on 02 9267 4844 and we have one of our organisers assist you.
Following a stoush with management in mid-May after industrial action, ETU members and the union thought we had secured an in-principle agreement however on closer inspection of managements proposed agreement it became clear that management had attempted to sneak in significant changes that would have seen ETU members out of pocket if their tools were stolen while also leaving members that work “short shifts” worse off.
As a result, ETU members at Chubb Fire and Security attended a mass meeting on the morning of Friday 3 June where negotiations were discussed at length. At this meeting members decided that any previous in-principle deal was off as a result of deceitful management tactics. It was unanimously resolved that members would re-double their efforts to secure an outcome that delivers important items such as protection around the use of labour hire, sub-contractors, domestic violence clause and delegates rights clause.
The negotiating committee is scheduled to meet with management this Friday 1 July after which a further update will be provided for members.
Steve Bankes – ETU Organiser
The current dispute with Otis over the enterprise agreement is a lot more in depth than what the company is making out. As there are quite a large number of issues to resolve we have agreed to move the stoppage back to Wednesday in order to try and reach agreement without the need for industrial action.
They have deliberately put all of the focus on the service spread of hours to hide from you that they are still trying to steal more of your conditions.
The following are the points that the Union believe are still not agreed:-
SITE PRODUCTIVITY ALLOWANCE: The company want to take the allowance off you when you are undertaking off-site work that is associated with the project. This has never been the case before.
“ILLEGITIMATE” ALLOWANCES: Leading Hand allowance is probably the main target here. Over the years the company has offered L/H allowance to employees as an enticement to stay with Otis. This has been due to the FACT that other lift companies pay a higher hourly rate and the only way to compete with that is offer an allowance. This is not an EBA issue and should be dealt with by management internally.
TRAINING OUTSIDE OF NORMAL HOURS: We are still unsure on this item. You currently have provisions in the agreement that allow for training outside of normal time at single time. There are strict parameters around this but we still aren’t sure how they want to expand them.
INCOME PROTECTION: There has been no agreement reached on Income Protection/Top Up insurance. The company has been quick to use the Victorian agreement when pushing compulsory spread of hour but they refuse to talk about the fact that the Vic’s have Top Up.
CASHING OUT RDO’S: This is just another way of pushing you back to a 38hr week. If the company has too much work and need you to work through your RDO’s then they should be offering to pay them out at overtime rates.
CASHING OUT ANNUAL LEAVE: We have been rejecting this for ever and a day. Why they would even keep bringing it up is beyond me.
TAKING OF ANNUAL LEAVE: There is no way in the world we would ever accept that the company can direct you to take annual leave when they haven’t planned enough work. This would lead to members being forced to take a week off in the middle of winter and then having none left when they need it.
FARES AND TRAVEL: We have accepted in the past that Fares would be paid at a lower amount on RDO’s now they want to take it away altogether!
REPAIRS ALLOWANCE: Richard Langdon has made it clear that as he has put a water container with a hose running off it in each repairs truck Otis can now say they have met the requirements of amenities. What a joke. These blokes continually get filthy dirty on sites with no lunch rooms or toilets. He even suggested that they should go to university in order to find a job that has better conditions.
HOURS OF WORK FLEXIBILITY: Otis has been pushing this hard for many years. They currently have the ability to implement late starts but have refused to use the method agreed to previously. Instead they just run the mantra that the Victorians and Queenslanders agreed to it so we should. In both of those States there are provisions for the introduction of various shifts, with appropriate allowances, to cover calls. There has been no talk of that here. All the company has put on the table so far is “no mutual agreement” for service. Given that it was in their log of claims that they want it for all employees there is no doubt they will continue to push it for construction/mods in future agreements.
WAGES: The company is currently offering 3% but only if a number of changes are made to the agreement.
In Unity - Steve Bankes.
ETU & AMWU members working at Kone Elevators & Doors, Warners Bay have stepped up their dispute by taking a second round of industrial action in pursuit of an Enterprise Agreement. Last Friday members walked off the job for a second 4-hour stoppage that also included returning to the depot for lunch and not responding to weekend callouts.
Kone workers across the country are employed under enterprise agreements with the exception of Newcastle where workers are currently employed on substandard individual contracts.
After providing the company with a comprehensive draft agreement covering the employee’s log of claims three weeks ago Kone management continued with their stalling tactics. When a response was finally forthcoming from the company’s directors it fell well short of meeting expectations forcing Kone’s workers to initiate another round of industrial action.
ETU & AMWU members are determined to secure a classification structure, job descriptions, fair hourly rates and relevant allowances. To date Kone’s response has been a blunt “NO” to all employee claims.
Kone failed to respond with any counter offer but now claim they need an additional two weeks to develop a range of watered down provisions – all of which are likely to be unacceptable to their highly skilled and dedicated workforce.
“The claims developed and put forward by our members is not extraordinary or outrageous” said ETU Organiser Justin Page.
“All these workers want is to be covered by an Enterprise Agreement with similar conditions that other Kone employees already receive and enjoy.”
“Everywhere else across the country where Kone employ people they do so under an enterprise agreement, Newcastle is the exception and these workers are sick of being treated like second class employees.” said Justin.
AMWU Organiser Fergal Eiffe said that this dispute is not just about securing a fair agreement it’s about delivering equality to a dedicated and highly skilled workforce.
“These employees are highly skilled trades people that have worked tirelessly with unwavering commitment but they continue to be treated like second class employees by a management team that just don’t seem to get it.”
“Managements arrogance and actions have only strengthened these members resolve to secure an enterprise agreement that delivers similar pay and conditions to all other Kone workers across the country.” Fergal said.
Last week ETU members from across the Sydney Construction sector attended a mass meeting where a tough new approach to the construction and contracting sectors was unanimously supported by members.
ETU members said that the time had come to take a hardline approach with bosses in the construction sector to ensure ETU members retain hard fought conditions and secured good outcomes moving forward.
In a move that will see a million dollar campaign rolled out across the construction and contracting sectors, the ETU NSW has developed a five point campaign plan to tackle rouge bosses and secure good outcomes for members across the construction and contracting sectors. The five point plan includes:
MAKE EMPLOYERS ACCOUNTABLE - The electrical contracting companies have had it too good for too long, it's time to make them more accountable.
MORE RESOURCES - the ETU NSW has increased the number of organisers, we now have five full time organisers in the construction sector to fight for ETU members.
ZERO TOLERANCE TO SAFETY BREACHES - Bosses who choose to skimp on safety will be our target as we clamp down on safety to protect workers.
A TOUGHER APPROACH ACROSS CONSTRUCTION & CONTRACTING - its a tough industry so the ETU & our members are taking a tough new approach.
STRONGER EBA's THAT PROTECT & IMPROVE CONDITIONS - You spoke and the ETU has listened. The ETU will only sign off on agreements that protect the rights of apprentices, our trade and our license.
This plan marks the beginning of the ETU's campaign and new approach but we can't do this without you. This commitment to the construction and contracting sectors from your union shows that we are serious about fighting for better outcomes.
At a time when the Sydney construction sector is booming it's time for electrical contracting companies to share this prosperity with their workers.
This is a new approach but it will only be successful with your support so get on board and let your organising team know what needs to be done to deliver better outcomes for ETU members.
Your ETU Organisers are:
Stewart Edward - email@example.com / 0419 210 442
Steve Bankes - firstname.lastname@example.org / 0414 887 553
Fred Barbin - email@example.com / 0437 031 840
Mick Hopper - firstname.lastname@example.org / 0429 429 234
Antony Stegic - email@example.com / 0414 877 943
Steve Butler - ETU Secretary
In accordance with the requirements of the Fair Work Registered Organisation Act 2009 the CEPU Electrical Division, NSW Branch (the Branch) has made available to members the complete financial report and associated documents for 2015.
By law the Branch must provide a copy of their financial report to members, this can be downloaded from the members area after logging in. Click here to access the CEPU 2015 financial report.
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