Media Release: Bechtel Ruins Christmas For 28 Gladstone Workers

Workers are looking at a bleak Christmas with construction giant Bechtel notifying that it has discontinued its contract with PB Sea-Tow, leaving 28 workers with Gladstone without a job. It is understood that PB Sea-Tow could be replaced by a rogue operator that has previously breached safety standards on numerous occasions in the past, including a fatality last year in Gladstone Harbour.

18 December 2012

MEDIA RELEASE

Bechtel ruins Christmas for 28 Gladstone workers

Workers are looking at a bleak Christmas with construction giant Bechtel notifying that it has discontinued its contract with PB Sea-Tow, leaving 28 workers with Gladstone without a job.

It is understood that PB Sea-Tow could be replaced by a rogue operator that has previously breached safety standards on numerous occasions in the past, including a fatality last year in Gladstone Harbour.

“These workers have just had the news from hell – only days from Christmas and they have been told their jobs are gone with almost no notice,” MUA Assistant National Secretary Ian Bray said.

“There has been no clear explanation as to why Bechtel made this decision to terminate the contract and the uncertainty is intensified by the fact that Bechtel is refusing to say who the replacement sub-contractor will be.

“The workers understand that it is likely that another company with a highly concerning safety record will take the contract, leading to a race to the bottom in working conditions at Gladstone.

“These are salt-of-the earth kind of people who have lost their jobs. They have fundraised more than $60,000 for some great causes, such as funding local orphanages, refuges for the homeless, the Rosella Park school, and helping local Olympians. Only last week they donated $10,000 to the McGrath foundation to help address breast cancer in our community.

“This is an appalling way for these workers to be treated just one week before Christmas and it is highly damaging to Bechtel’s relationship with workers and their representatives into the future.

“Bechtel makes billions of dollars in revenue every year and it is astounding that it would be trying to push down costs at the expense of the safety of its workers.

“Bechtel and its new contractor must commit to upholding the same working conditions and safety standards that have been in place so that we don’t see more accidents or deaths here.”