The peak body of trade unions in the Northern Territory will hit the streets today to demand that Government “Change the Rules”. They join an escalating national campaign that seeks to empower workers in a system that favours employers.

Unions NT Secretary Kay Densley said, “Wages are stagnant and wage theft is rife in this country. If we don’t change the rules, the trend toward greater inequality will grow.”

The unions will also celebrate the announcement of a historic proposal for training and employment outcomes from the Larrakia community through the Larrakia Development Corporation (LDC) and Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation (LNAC).

In a letter dated 1 May 2018, the Larrakia organisations on behalf of the Larrakia community have formally proposed that Inpex commence formal negotiations for a binding Deed of Agreement that specifies how training and employment will be delivered to local people over the 40 year course of the gas plants operations.

The formal proposal is the culmination of community petitions, letters, and rally’s to demonstrating the genuine community support for the negotiations and the hope for a binding agreement.

Unions NT President Thomas Mayor said of the campaign, “As a union official, even where we have a high density of union membership, it is always difficult to convince companies to make themselves accountable to promises of local and Indigenous employment”

“Where Larrakia people have been purposefully divided in the past, they have united on the understanding of that shared past of employment commitments contained in MOU’s that have not been adhered to by employers.”

LDC Chair Mark Motlop said of the proposal, “Training and employment opportunities are vital to our community. Not just for our people, but also for others who live on our country with us.”

Mr Motlop went on to say, “We have a vision to see that those tankers carrying gas from Larrakia land to Japan will one day have an entirely local crew, and the captain will be a Larrakia kid who had entered the industry through this Agreement.”

LNAC Chair Richard Fejo spoke of the respectful relationship that will continue with firm commitments to Larrakia people, “we respect and understand that Inpex are very committed to training and employment for Larrakia and local people. So it is a reasonable proposition from us to formalize this commitment.”

In the proposal, addressed to Inpex President Director Australia, Mr Seiya Ito, the Larrakia organisations have proposed that the Deed of Agreement includes:

  1. Job ready program
  2. Adherence Agreement with all contractors
  3. Occupation specific employment programs. i.e.: Maritime training from small vessel to gas tankers
  4. An enhanced dispute process
  5. A database for unemployed and underemployed
  6. Training providers by agreement

The proposal has requested a response by 25 May 2018, with an initial meeting to agree arrangements in early June 2018.